By Claire Ottaviano
A BID to demolish a home on Fauntleroy Street in Guildford to build a childcare centre failed to gain the support of City of Swan staff and council last week.
Council unanimously supported staff’s recommendation to refuse the application because the proposed 18 onsite car parking bays was five fewer than required under the City’s local planning policy.
Staff said subsequent parking on Fauntleroy Street would likely be to the detriment of the road and the convenience of local residents.
In a written deputation, the property owner and architect urged council to consider an option to approve the application subject to conditions.
“In preparing our proposal we sought to retain as much of the mature vegetation, seeing this as a positive to the street scape but also the environment at large,” Meyer Shircore Architects’ Gianni Da Rui said.
“The retention of these trees meant the car parking layout was inefficient and made it difficult to provide the required number of parking bays for the children and staff numbers anticipated.”
Recognising that the parking shortfall was of concern and the reason for refusal, Mr Da Rui said the centre could reduce its numbers from 75 places to 72 places and remove three 20 to 25m high red gum trees from the car park and replace them with three more bays.
The reduction in places would also result in the loss of one staff member bringing the total number of required bays to 22 and a provision of 21 car bays, resulting in a shortfall of one.
“This is a solution we have been avoiding but at this critical point not being able to hold this difficult approval much longer, we would like to propose this as a solution to the council and as a condition in the approval,” property owner Javier Heraso said.
Two deputations were made in support of staff’s recommendation to refuse.
Residents Peter and Jude Smyth, who presented council with a 141-signature petition objecting to the childcare centre in December, said they were happy with the result.
“I applaud the council decision as for so many reasons the childcare centre was unsuitable for that location,” Mr Smyth said.
“The health impacts of aircraft noise on developing children cannot be dismissed and until people have experienced the traffic conditions in the area at peak times, they have no idea of the difficulties faced.
“Removing mature trees would ruin the streetscape of what is supposed to be a protected heritage suburb and there should be no more commercial facilities allowed in a residential area already under enormous pressure due to the expansion of St Judes.”