Maitland council to discuss grammar school's child care centre proposal

Maitland City Council will discuss applications for a child care centre at Ashtonfield, a seven-room boarding house in Maitland and funding for off-leash dog parks at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Hunter Valley Grammar School has lodged an application with council for a 40-place child care facility on the corner of Norfolk and Celebes streets, Ashtonfield.

The application is to provide places for children aged between three and five.

The proposed facility will replace the existing early learning centre within the grounds of the school site.

It is intended to convert the existing learning centre building into junior school science and art classrooms.

The proposed child care centre is currently occupied by a single-storey brick house which would be demolished if the application is approved.

The development has been advertised and resulted in five submissions raising concerns relating to lack of car parking, traffic congestion, traffic safety issues and noise.

Council officers have recommended the development for conditional approval.

Councillors will also discuss an application for a seven-room boarding house and manager’s residence in Devonshire Street, Maitland.

The application has been lodged under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (affordable rental housing) which aims to facilitate the delivery of new affordable housing.

Submissions received relating to the development raised issues of a lack of parking, flooding, heritage impacts, safety and privacy concerns.

Council officers have recommended the application for approval.

Councillors will also debate whether council should put its hand up for a share of $200 million in State funding available for building new community facilities and refurbishing existing facilities. The Stronger Country Communities Fund is available over two years to regional councils.

In a report, council officers said Maitland qualifies under the fund. Projects must be valued between $100,000 and $1 million, provide local jobs, support local businesses and be additional to works already planned by council.

Officers suggest using the funding for upgrades to five off leash dog exercise areas, improvements to Bakers Brickyard playground at Raworth and future stages of the shared pathway on Cessnock Road from Gillieston Heights to Maitland.

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