Community & Business

27 April, 2023

New childcare centre gets green light

A NEW childcare centre that will be able to cater for up to 134 youngsters and employ 14 staff has been given a tick of approval by Mareeba Shire Council for a site on Anzac Avenue, near the intersection with Kennedy Highway.

New childcare centre gets green light - feature photo

Proponent Steve Cordenos said he was thrilled the approval had been given for the facility which he hoped would be constructed in the next two years.

“If everything goes to plan, and we can get a national tenant involved, then we will build it and I hope that will be within the next 18 months to two years,” he said.

“It’s on the right side of town because that is where all the residential growth is occurring.”

An application for the project was lodged in July 2021, asking council to change the assessment level from impact assessable to code assessable but that would have precluded residents from being able to officially object or support the proposal and they would not have had appeal rights.

Council refused that request but last week approved the Material Change of Use (MCU) application after only three submissions objecting to the project were lodged with council during the official consultation phase.

The objections were mainly related to increased traffic in the area, a detrimental effect on residents living nearby, and safety.

The site abuts a residential lot but council will require the developers to provide “significant landscape areas including a buffer to adjoining residential properties which will be densely planted”.

Council officers also responded to the concerns about the facility being in a residential area, stating in a report that all of the established childcare centres in Mareeba were located within or adjoining the low-density residential zone.

“These centres have demonstrated the ability to operate in a manner compatible with the amenity of nearby residential uses. There is a similar expectation for a childcare centre on the subject land,” the report stated.

“A childcare centre is an essential service for many residents, particularly those on the fast developing eastern side of Mareeba.”

Council did require the developer to submit an independent traffic report which was prepared by 5KF Consulting Engineers and concluded that there were no traffic engineering impediments to the development proceeding.

“Further, the traffic report finds that the development will not impact the surrounding traffic network in such a way that requires upgrades external to the development,” the report stated.

The applicant has also given an assurance that that a total of 29 car parking spaces including a DDA space and five set-down will be provided onsite which is in excess of the 18 spaces required by the Planning Scheme.

Other conditions placed upon the development included that kerb and channelling be provided for the entire frontage of the site, as well as a 4.5m wide sealed footpath.

Developers will also have to fund the connection of water and sewerage to council’s networks as well as pay $40,000 in infrastructure charges.

At last week’s council meeting, Cr Locky Bensted said the MCU approval for a childcare centre to be established on the site would, at last, give residents comfort about what would be developed on the land.

“The purpose of use has now been identified and that will give certainty to the community,” he said.

In 2010, council refused a MCU proposed by Mareeba Mitsubishi and Mareeba Mazda to develop the site for a motor showroom and associated vehicle repair station.


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