Residents of Hendra are mounting a legal challenge against the development of a childcare centre on a site formerly occupied by a lawn bowls club, known for its flood risk. The group is contesting the project, emphasising environmental concerns and the need for responsible land use in the community.
The project (DA A005894902), spanning 5,724 sqm along Lethem St, was approved by the Council on 27 October 2023 and has led to a formal appeal in the Planning and Environment Court.
The appellants argue that the 239-place childcare centre from Lethem Street Projects Pty Ltd represents an overdevelopment of the site, leaving no space for sports or recreational facilities and disrupting the character of the area
The development’s scale is expected to increase traffic significantly, affecting the local community’s quality of life and posing a risk due to the site’s flood-prone nature. With 91 objections lodged by residents, the case highlights a substantial community pushback against the council’s decision.
The development has been assessed under the Planning Act 2016, with changes to the application deemed minor by the Council, including the removal of outdoor sport and recreation land uses.
However, the community’s concerns extend beyond the scope of these adjustments, focusing on the broader impact on local amenities, flood risk, and traffic congestion.
Previously, the community had initially supported plans by property developer Kenlynn, the former owner of the 25 Lethem St site, for a low-density housing project, aligning with the area’s quiet residential nature. However, this plan was abandoned, and the offer to sell the land to the Council for public green space did not materialise.
One resident expressed that a large childcare centre contradicts the community’s expectations and needs, pointing out the existing surplus of childcare facilities and the lack of demand for another. Residents advocate for development that respects the area’s residential character and meets actual community needs.
As of press time, the developer has yet to submit its defence whilst the court has yet to set a date for the hearing.