JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Couple lose noise battle as childcare centre grows

Date

Michael Inman

The Campbell Cottage YWCA Child Care Centre.

The Campbell Cottage YWCA Child Care Centre. Photo: Graham Tidy

A Campbell couple has lost a bid to have noise abatement panels - similar to those installed along busy motorways - erected around a neighbouring childcare centre.

P.W. and A.M.H. Tormey, who live about 45 metres from the centre, told an ACT tribunal that clearview panels, similar to those used along Fairbairn Avenue, should be erected around the playground perimeter.

Campbell Cottage Child Care Centre earlier this year received planning approval to increase its operating capacity to cater for 66 children and 14 staff.

But the Tormeys argued the expansion would lead to a 20 per cent increase in vehicle movements, causing noise and traffic issues for neighbouring residents.

The stoush over the development ended up in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which this month ruled in favour of the ACT Planning and Land Authority.

The Tormeys have lived at their property since 1967.

When they bought their home, the property directly opposite was occupied by a pre-school which was attended by about 25 children and supervised by two staff.

Campbell Cottage, operated by the Young Women's Christian Association of Canberra, caters for about 57 children and employs 11 staff.

It plans to make alterations and additions to the existing buildings to increase its operating capacity. The additions include a small office, a covered walkway, improvements to driveway access and a car park.

The development application said the extension would be used to accommodate babies rather than older children.

During the DA process, the Tormeys were the only people to lodge a submission. Approval was granted in March this year.

The Tormeys, in response, went to the tribunal, arguing the expansion would create a traffic hazard due to the centre's proximity to two road junctions. They said noise levels would increase due to extra vehicle movements and the increase in the number of children at the centre.

The couple said the existing noise created by the centre was already "grossly excessive". The pair argued the centre should be required to erect noise abatement barriers around the playground perimeter and proposed clearview panels, similar to those used along Fairbairn Avenue.

But counsel for the childcare centre rejected the claim, saying the proposal was consistent with zoning and that territory law did not require a noise management plan. The centre guaranteed parking codes would be met.

In a decision published last week, tribunal member Ross Watch found partly in favour of the Tormeys. "I recommend [ACTPLA] … make it a condition of the development approval that no-parking zones be introduced on the eastern side of Savige Street," he said.

 

29 comments

  • No doubt the couple were delighted to send their own children to the centre when they needed it. A different story now they are retired.

    Commenter
    Offspring
    Date and time
    December 12, 2012, 8:59AM
    • that's a pretty one-sided view Offspring, what a nasty thing to say, hope you don't get old - people old or young have the right to live peacefully in their own homes without outside interferance. From what I understand they are mainly talking about traffic hazard and noise that the expansion will create. You would think the ACT government would at least come to some compromise by placing a barrier there, not only would if benefit the old people but also the children as it would provide added security for them.

      Commenter
      westy
      Location
      canberra
      Date and time
      December 12, 2012, 12:05PM
    • Westy. Nasty is a matter of opinion. Unfortunately it is true, they did their children to the centre.

      Commenter
      Offspring
      Date and time
      December 12, 2012, 1:41PM
  • Be careful where you purchase a home; check the zoning of all neighbors and all dedicated easements. Check what your legal rights are for access to your property. Check flooding potential and any seasonal creeks or culverts nearby. Surprises later can be a big problem.

    Commenter
    abrady
    Location
    California
    Date and time
    December 12, 2012, 9:05AM
    • Very difficult when both sides have a reasonable arguement

      Commenter
      Irene
      Date and time
      December 12, 2012, 9:20AM
      • It is socially irresponsible for the childcare centre not to consider the effect their expansion would have on the surrounding neighbours. The centre should make an effort to reduce the noise impact. Why should the neighbours have to suffer the increased noise, and subsequent effect on their lifestyles and property values.

        Commenter
        WillD
        Date and time
        December 12, 2012, 9:54AM
    • As a Campbell resident and the parent of two children at this centre I can tell you that this has been an absolute disgrace from start to finish. First, the selfish old goats that complained, despite the fact that this centre has been there in one form or another for around 40 years. Secondly, the abject failure of the ACAT system to deliver a judgment on this routine planning matter in anything like the 120 days they are allowed under law. Finally, the ACT Government which has parked the children up in two different 'temporary' centres on the north edge of Canberra whilst this matter made its way interminably through the tribunal. The kids have been rotting away in substandard facilities for months whilst this centre has laid idle and empty. Work is finally going to start, months down the track from when it should have commenced.
      This was a vexatious complaint from the very beginning, and should have been dismissed out of hand. Instead, little children have paid the price for this litany of failure on everyone's part except their own.

      What a joke.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Location
      Campbell
      Date and time
      December 12, 2012, 9:30AM
      • Here, here.

        Commenter
        Outraged of Palmerston
        Date and time
        December 12, 2012, 10:00AM
      • Bit harsh Andrew - seems that you have let you emotions run a little here - maybe that was the problem with finding a reasonable outcome.

        Commenter
        Irene
        Date and time
        December 12, 2012, 10:41AM
      • Hey Andrew! "Selfish old goats"? It doesn't matter what you, I or anyone else thinks. As residents, they had an entitlement to take the decision to ACAT. Perfectly legitimate. Your comments suggest that anyone who doesn't agree with your stand should be consigned to some environment where, depending on age, there is no access to the laws which apply equally to all residents. And who are you to determine the complaint was "vexatious"? Seems you're in the wrong job - president of a communist country sounds more suited to you.

        Commenter
        HG
        Date and time
        December 12, 2012, 12:03PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    Featured advertisers

    Special offers

    Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo