A medical centre providing allied health services to children has got the planning green light in Port Macquarie's Siren Road despite opposition from nearby residents.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's Development Assessment Panel (DAP) approved, subject to conditions, an application to change the use of 14 Siren Road from a dwelling to a medical centre.
The Siren Road property appealed to All Together Therapy to provide a homely environment for its clients.
But Siren Road and Wallis Street residents feel the centre is inconsistent with the residential estate and will create traffic issues.
All Together Therapy managing director and occupational therapist Pip Cullen said the disability and child-related allied health service saw the most vulnerable in our population.
"Research has shown that the best outcomes in therapy happen when kids are engaged and having fun," she said.
Mrs Cullen said they had a traffic assessment completed and real data from the existing business was used.
"We see multiple children within families and we are not a 15-minute service," she said.
The conditions include a requirement that consultants each provide consultations for a maximum of one patient per hour.
The use of the medical centre is restricted to allied health professionals.
The council received 38 submissions from the public. Residents in opposition to the development packed into the DAP meeting.
Siren Road resident Vickye McKechnie believes the council's consultation was flawed.
She said the development would affect the streetscape and she raised concerns about traffic and traffic-related safety issues.
"We don't want to be another Highfields Circuit," Mrs McKechnie said.
"We are not against the medical centre, as such, just this site is inappropriate."
Macquarie Gardens resident Cameron McKee said he was concerned with the traffic impact in the "pretty quiet estate".
"There are a lot of unknowns," he said about the traffic.
Mr McKee said the centre would change the nature of the estate.
"I'm surprised why we are turning residential areas into commercial areas," he said.
Mr McKee said communication between the council and local residents had been tardy at best.
The house at 14 Siren Road will be renovated to make way for the relocating business.
Car parking will be added with the front car park dedicated to patient parking and staff parking at the back.
Mrs Cullen said the impact on the Siren Road community would be very minimal.
"We are really hoping to have good relationships with the neighbours and be part of Siren Road," she said.
The council report said the street had capacity for the additional traffic generation anticipated for the development.
The panel's independent chair, Paul Drake, advised residents to approach the council if their fears about traffic came to fruition and there were ways to manage that.
Residents are concerned the estate will turn into another medical precinct similar to Highfields Circuit and the area surrounding Port Macquarie Private Hospital.
Development Assessment Panel member Dan Croft said the council's practice was to notify adjoining and adjacent property owners and that did take place.
He said the Siren Road development was permissible in the zone.
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