Centre gets council green light
PLANS for an early learning centre at Scotch College stirred lengthy discussion at a Town of Claremont meeting this month.
Councillors amended plans to improve traffic management in the area before approving the proposed facility at the corner of Shenton and Stirling roads.
The early learning centre plans included a facility and parking to accommodate 44 kindergarten and pre-primary students and six staff members.
The college proposed a total of 57 parking bays on site on Stirling Road and Wright Avenue.
Stirling Street resident Alan Nelson said he was unable to access the road during peak-hour traffic.
“In the past year there has been a noticeable increase in traffic congestion,” he said.
“It may be good for Scotch, but it’s not good for the residents.”
Richardson Avenue resident Claire Brittain said she was tired of being disrupted by private school traffic.
“Why are ratepayers being treated like second-class citizens when schools are allowed to do what they like,” Ms Brittain said
The council voted to re-open drop-off zones on Kott Terrace and Shenton Road, but Councillor Karen Wood said the school needed to use land it already owned.
“It’s Scotch’s business, let them come up with something different that uses their own land, not ours,” she said.
Cr Peter Browne said congestion on Stirling Road was already so heavy that people drove on footpaths or illegally on roundabouts.
“Reopening of drop-offs will alleviate congestion,” he said. “We have a chance to make a difference to traffic management in Claremont.”
College headmaster Alec O’Connell said he was pleased council had given approval.
“There is still a series of matters to be addressed, including educational approvals, but in all planning matters it is good to have an opportunity for healthy and robust dialogue in search of a final solution,” he said. “We are particularly gratified at the council’s acknowledgement of the significant role Scotch College has played in addressing traffic issues in the wider community over the last four years and the ongoing willingness to improve traffic congestion from a sustainability perspective."