By Kyra Gillespie
Bunyip is on track for a third childcare centre following council’s approval of the development at their last meeting.
Given the tick of approval at the 4 February Town Planning Meeting, applicant William Heseltine will have the old Masonic Hall at 34-34 Railway Avenue transformed into a centre that will accommodate 90 children under the age of five.
The centre will include three main areas (a baby room, toddler rooms and children rooms), will be open between 6am and 6.30pm and will operate Monday to Friday.
The site currently contains a yellow, single-storey brick building and small outbuilding with a circular driveway.
The planning permit outlines that “minor” works will be required to transform the building, which include updates to the façade of the building and an extension on the back of the existing building.
The internal layout of the building will also be altered to cater for the different spaces required for each age group of children and the existing back yard area will be used for an outdoor playground.
A 20-space car park will also be constructed at the site.
Council received five objections prior to the approval of the centre, which related to increased traffic and congestion issues; impacts increased traffic will have to wildlife (particularly the Southern Brown Bandicoot); child safety (the potential for snakes and other wildlife to enter the play areas); oversupply of child care centres in Bunyip; and increased noise in the area from children playing outside and car’s entering and exiting the site.
Bunyip, home to 2468 residents, currently has one childcare centre which caters for 75 children aged 6 weeks to primary school age.
Despite recently approving a second childcare centre in High Street which will cater for 92 children, council believe that this third centre will accommodate the young families set to move into the 136 new lots due to be released at Bunyip Meadows estate off Nylander Road.
Works are expected to start within two years.