New deck on hold

Con­sul­ta­tion on creche ex­pan­sion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Plun­ket’s creche in Whitby won’t be get­ting a new deck any time soon.

A 70-square me­tre deck is the cen­tral part of the creche’s ap­pli­ca­tion to Porirua City Coun­cil as the busi­ness looks to ex­pand from 11 chil­dren to 25.

Last week, the coun­cil’s Te Komiti looked set to pass the ex­pan­sion, worth nearly $200,000, be­fore con­cerns were raised in public speak­ing time by Ge­off Mow­day, chair­man of Whitby Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mow­day said the con­sul­ta­tion process had not been thor­ough, even though a re­port to coun­cil­lors said pos­i­tive feed­back on the creche ex­pan­sion had been re­ceived from the as­so­ci­a­tion, the nearby re­tire­ment vil­lage and Whitby Co-Op.

‘‘ We [ res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion] are not anti-Plun­ket and we’re pleased to have them in the com­mu­nity, but we are con­cerned about this ex­ten­sion not be­ing pub­licly no­ti­fied,’’ Mow­day said.

‘‘ Many res­i­dents were only aware of what was hap­pen­ing when th­ese coun­cil pa­pers came out this week.’’

He said the only green space by the lake would be lost once the deck was built and park­ing and traf­fic is­sues – al­ready bad in the Whitby civic cen­tre – would get much worse.

‘‘This ap­pli­ca­tion is si­lent on ac­knowl­edg­ing th­ese traf­fic is­sues. We do not sup­port this pro­posal in its present form.’’

Scott Fisher, Plun­ket New Zealand’s busi­ness devel­op­ment manager, told the meet­ing that for the creche to be sus­tain­able, 25 pre-school­ers would need to be en­rolled and thus ex­pan­sion was needed.

Coun­cil­lor Litea Ah Hoi asked Mow­day whether Whitby res­i­dents were be­ing pre­cious about their green spa­ces, when the sub­urb had more re­serve ar­eas than the eastern and west­ern parts of Porirua com­bined.

Mow­day agreed the as­so­ci­a­tion was be­ing pre­cious, but said it should be up to the com­mu­nity to de­cide on Plun­ket’s plans.

Coun­cil­lor Anita Baker – who called traf­fic and park­ing in Whitby’s shop­ping cen­tre a cir­cus – suc­cess­fully moved that the creche’s ex­pan­sion be de­ferred un­til a site visit by coun­cil­lors and wider con­sul­ta­tion was car­ried out.

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