Garden Suburb childcare centre approved by Lake Macquarie council

APPROVAL has been granted for the development of Lake Macquarie's largest childcare centre, despite a host of concerns from residents.

The application for the 96-place centre, to be built in Prospect Road, Garden Suburb, has taken a year to pass through Lake Macquarie City Council.

During that time, residents expressed concerns about safety, increased traffic, noise implications and the centre's size for the neighbourhood.

More than 150 residents signed a petition against the centre when it was first proposed last April.

With this in mind, Lake Macquarie councillors voted 9 to 3 for the centre after an hour-long debate last Monday.

Councillor Laurie Coghlan supported the centre, saying it was vital for future planning.

"In today's age [child care] is a necessary service, particularly for families with both parents working."

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison agreed there was a "definite shortage" of child care in Lake Macquarie.

She said there were 6645 children aged two and under and only 969 childcare places in the same age group.

Deputy mayor Daniel Wallace said while the decision to build the Garden Suburb centre was not a win-win, it would "go ahead a lot smoother than what most residents think".

"It's not ideal for those neighbouring properties," he said.

"But will the traffic situation be as unbearable as the desperate need for child care in Lake Macquarie?"

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