Crèche plans approved, residents vow to appeal

Table View residents say they will appeal the decision to have more children at a local crèche.

Table View residents have vowed to appeal a City land-use approval that will allow a crèche to double its number of children.

The City’s Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) approved an application for 98 children at Tableview Treasures, in Circle Road, Table View.

Residents were notified in January about the crèche’s application to double the number of children in its care from 55 to 110 and have six drop-and-go bays.

Civic groups and residents said the plan could create unhealthy conditions for the children, further strain infrastructure and increase traffic and congestion, which could cause car accidents.

In a letter to residents, dated Friday December 11, the MPT says the crèche has approval for 98 children, 16 employees and seven parking bays (on municipal property).

Cheryl Walters, director for planning and building development management, said the City had approved the crèche’s proposal because it blended with district planning objectives, its scale was “contextually appropriate”, it would create jobs and it would benefit young children while retaining the property’s residential character.

Residents near Circle Road, like Ruth Kelher, are adamant the plan isn’t practical. Ms Kelher said the road was already busy.

“There’s already so much happening there and surrounding areas because there are schools and other building projects in the works. How can the City disregard the concerns of the people and go ahead and approve this? The people are against it, but I guess that doesn’t matter to them.”

The Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF) has opposed the plan from the start, with overcrowding and traffic congestion among its chief concerns.

GTAF’s David Ayres said the organisation supported densification and development but they couldn’t happen out of step with the agreed district plan and infrastructure capacity.

“We, however, cannot support the over-densification of our area and the destruction of our critical environment. This application can only comply with its parking requirements on the basis of renting City land, and, as such, the people who own this public land will be denied the use of this land due to private interests. Again we see the City put profit above people,” he said.

Ward 113 councillor Joy Solomon also objected to the application, saying the crèche needed larger premises. “When you know what’s planned for Circle Road and from Gie Road to Eagle Crescent, it is going to be chaotic,” she said.

Helena and Ross Smith, the owners of the crèche, said in a statement to Tabletalk that changes would be made to the building as it had ample space and ablution facilities.

“This was approved and inspected by the health department, social development and the fire department for 98 children. With regards to your traffic question, we had the services of a traffic engineer who did a full survey in July 2020 and her favourable report indicated that there was no impact that the nursery had on the traffic on Circle Road.

“We feel personally that the major traffic change since 2017 was the unexpected erection of temporary buildings for a government primary school on the same road, as well as the numbers of houses being torn down for multi storey flats which drastically increases the traffic flow in a residential area.”

Residents have 21 days from the date of the notification (December 11) to submit appeals.