Childcare centre rejected

A lack of suitable sites for new services in Romsey has hindered plans for a desired childcare centre.
The Reynolds Grove proposal was to service families in the growing town with capacity 100 children and 18 staff but was rejected at Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s meeting last week based on location and traffic concerns.
The applicant revealed he had spent four years seeking an appropriate site closer to the centre of town to better service the town however suitable sites were limited.
Cr Mandi Mees said the bulk and size of the proposal was too large for the area, double the size of other childcare facilities in the region, and would attract a high level of traffic in a street “without the infrastructure”.
“I don’t want to scare investment away from Romsey or services away from Romsey I just want to make sure it’s appropriate as it is a general residential zone,” she said.
Five objections to the application were received outlining similar concerns and impact to amenity, but Cr Bill West highlighted that the only other commercial childcare centre in town was situated in a similar residential area.
Fellow East Ward councillor Natasha Gayfer outlined a need for the service in the growing township.
“The population is growing and this (centre) should be in a place where it can better meet the community’s needs, I understand the concerns, however I feel a more central location may never become available,” Cr Gayfer said.
Crs West and Gayfer were the only councillors to vote against the officer’s recommendation for refusal of the application.