Child care centres policy slammed by The Hills Council

MAYOR YVONNE KEANE: "Not only will council lose input into proposed developments, residents won’t have a say to what happens in their street, which is really sad."

MAYOR YVONNE KEANE: "Not only will council lose input into proposed developments, residents won’t have a say to what happens in their street, which is really sad."

A state government proposal that will allow child care centres to be built on residential streets without council consent has drawn the ire of The Hills Council.

In its submission to the NSW government regarding the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities, the council has expressed opposition to plans to allow child care centres to be built in low-residential areas.

the council is concerned about another element of the policy, which proposes to allow schools to build up to four storeys high without permission from The Hills Council.

The Hills mayor Yvonne Keane said the child care centres need to be placed in appropriate locations.

“The new policy is outrageous and overrides our ability to plan our own community. Not only will council lose input into proposed developments, residents won’t have a say to what happens in their street, which is really sad,” Cr Keane said.

“I believe our shire’s beautiful character will be greatly impacted as a result of the Sydney West Central Planning Panel or private certifiers approving controversial developments, which don’t meet the needs of our region or are incompatible with their surroundings, causing further problems to our growing suburbs.

“Child care centres will be able to pop-up anywhere, and schools can be built without regards for the character of the neighbourhood.

“As a mother of two children and with many young families moving to The Hills, it’s imperative we have access to good child care centres and educational institutions.”

Deputy mayor Robyn Preston, who spoke in support of the council’s submission at last week’s council meeting, said the proposed policy could make it tougher for residents to access their own street.

“If this policy is approved, we can expect to see more traffic and parking complications as a result of these facilities being constructed and opened in areas which are already under huge demand because of population growth,” Cr Preston said.

Residents and councils have until Friday, April 7 to send through their submissions to the state government.

The NSW Planning and Environment website states the state government “is proposing changes to the planning system to make it easier for education and child care providers to build high-quality facilities”.

Find out more information and make a submission here.