Kindy Patch Emma's expansion plans have been given the green light but not all Maitland councillors were convinced it should be approved.
Councillors Robert Aitchison, Sally Halliday and Ben Mitchell would not support it when it came before them at a meeting on Tuesday night.
The childcare centre's plan includes building three indoor playrooms, extra toilets, a craft storage area, drop-off zone and 30 car parking spaces at its current site in Narang Street, East Maitland, so it can double enrolment numbers and help meet the rising need for childcare in the city.
Councillor Aitchison said the centre had "outgrown the current site" and the block was not suitable for an expansion.
Councillor Sally Halliday agreed.
"There are appropriate places where we could move that," he said.
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"I don't personally agree that it's an appropriate place to be plonked in the middle of a residential area,"Cr Halliday added.
Councillors Loretta Baker and Ben Whiting noted the demand for childcare in Maitland while Deputy Mayor Mitchell Griffin said a refusal could put the council in the NSW Land and Environment Court and it was likely the decision would be overturned.
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"We need the childcare places in Maitland, but not at any cost," Cr Baker said.
"Even though it is a lot of growth within this suburban area I think it's sorely needed," Cr Whiting added.
Councillor Griffin said it fitted within the threshold council applied to Development Applications (DA). Councillor Whiting agreed.
Council's planning and environment group manager Matthew Prendergast confirmed there was only one minor non-compliance - it was one car parking space short under the rules in the Maitland Development Control Plan.
The DA was put before Maitland councillors on November 14 and deferred due to concerns about parking, stormwater and pedestrian access to the site.
Council staff recommended it be approved at that meeting and again on November 28.