Child care centre developer pulls pin

A Dunedin developer has pulled out of a proposed $1.5 million Caversham childcare centre, saying a decision by a council hearings committee to limit capacity made it unviable.

This comes after the proposal for a two-storey childcare centre in Hazel Ave sparked a strong response from neighbours, with 24 people making submissions calling for it not to be given resource consent because of concerns about noise and traffic and the quiet cul-de-sac.

The council hearings committee recently decided to grant consent for the development, but limit capacity to up to 60 children at any one time, down from the 100 in the developer's proposal.

Developer Simon Eddy, of Eddy AP Ltd, said the decision to limit the centre's capacity to 60 was ''incredibly disappointing'' and made it ''unviable''.

''It's just not practical to establish that sort of centre with 60 children.''

He could not understand the decision, given the hearings committee accepted the expert evidence presented in its favour.

As a result of the decision, the development had been brought to a halt - with no plans to appeal.

This meant the loss of about 20 jobs once the centre was up and running and an about $1.5 million investment in the building.

Brent Ward, who also lives next door and runs Hazel House Boutique Bed and Breakfast from his house, said news Mr Eddy was pulling out of the development was ''brilliant for the street'' and its residents would be ''ecstatic''.

The nuisance value for the street would have been ''considerable'', even with the condition limiting capacity.

Cr Andrew Noone, who was part of the hearings panel which issued the consent, said he could not comment because the decision was still open to appeal.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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