A plan to expand a Warrnambool childcare centre to include a kindergarten has been given the tick of approval by councillors.
Traffic and car parking concerns prompted 18 objections to the proposal which would seen the Honeypot Childcare Centre triple the number of children it caters for.
The Bostock Street business, which has operated from the site since 1996, plans to expand into the neighbouring Emma Avenue property with the number of children to increase from 20 to 62 which includes 22 kindergarten places, council documents say.
Despite airing their concerns about traffic safety, the proposal won the backing of six councillors. Cr Debbie Arnott had declared a conflict of interest and didn't vote.
Cr Richard Ziegeler said he had concerns about parking and traffic in Bostock Street for the "long-suffering residents" where at critical times for short periods of the day the parking and traffic flow was "chaotic".
"The residents of Bostock Street have concerns for themselves and their own safety, the safety of pedestrians and other road users because of that chaos," he said.
Cr Ziegeler said he would support the permit in the interests of creating more childcare place but would follow the efforts of the council's operational arm to calm down the traffic and parking problems for that area.
Cr Max Taylor said he was "astonished" to see the lack of signage along Bostock street to alert motorists there was a child care centre there.
"Any motorist travelling along Bostock Street would have no idea that there was a childcare centre existing there at 76 Bostock Street unless they took their eyes off the road," he said.
Mr Taylor said he sympathised with the 18 objectors' concerns over traffic/pedestrian safety and car parking issues.
He said other kinders in Warrnambool had yellow signs to alert motorists to their location, and one even had a 20km/h speed hump.
Cr Ben Blain said it was exciting to see a business in Warrnanbool expand, especially after the events of the past 18 months.
He said the city's growing population meant there was always a need for more child care places.
Cr Blain said that while the drop-offs and pick-ups were a bit of a concern, the council shouldn't be standing in the way of a business wanting to build, expand and move forward in Warrnambool.
Cr Angie Paspaliaris said that while it was an important service for the community, it was unfair to burden residents in the immediate area more than they already are.
But she said the owner and staff appeared to be very obliging with a lot of the issues in what they can do to make things better for residents.
Cr Paspaliaris said the permit requirements addressed some of the concerns appropriately, and she was happy to support the motion.
Cr Otha Akoch said the city was growing and needed more child care centres, and Honeypot was in a good location.
Cr Blain said child care centres should be located in residential areas. "The kids don't live in the CBD, they live out in the residential areas," he said.
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