The controversial proposal for a two-storey childcare centre at Turvey Park was narrowly approved by Wagga Wagga City Council on Monday night (23 October) despite pushback earlier in the year.
Concerns over parking, traffic control and potential flooding saw the 32 Halloran Street centre’s development application (DA) rejected in May, but on Monday night three of the five councillors left sitting decided there was sufficient planning to overturn the original decision.
The decision was delivered after extensive deliberation and an objection made in person by Halloran Street resident Steven Kenyon, who was concerned about privacy due to the height of the planned retaining walls.
“Anyone at the north of the property will be gazing at the legs of anyone walking by and will have a full view of the children using the play deck and playing on the southern side of the development,” Mr Kenyon said.
“Privacy has been compromised.”
Despite the concerns of some Turvey Park residents, the centre developer, Darren White, assured the council that all concerns raised at the May meeting had been addressed.
Cr Rod Kendall, who returned after serving his month-long suspension, implored fellow councillors to vote in favour of the DA.
“Nothing I’ve heard gives me cause not to approve the DA and give the council’s recommendation,” he said.
“We’ve heard very clearly that the carpark, which seems to be everybody’s issue, is compliant [with regulations].
“Drainage, which was another issue, is also compliant, the plans show the site has been lifted so it is free of the maximum probable flood level.”
Mayor Dallas Tout and Deputy Mayor Amelia Parkins eventually voted with Cr Kendall in favour of the $894,300 project despite pushback from Crs Tim Koschel and Michael Henderson.
Crs Georgie Davies, Jenny McKinnon and Richard Foley were all excused due to registering potential conflicts of interest.
Construction on the 46-place childcare facility is not due to begin until mid-2024, but once the centre is operational it is expected to employ up to 20 people.