COUNCILLORS have unanimously backed a 120-space childcare centre close to a busy Ironbark intersection despite residents' traffic concerns.
The City of Greater Bendigo's council debated the merits of a new centre at 62-68 Eaglehawk Road when they met on Wednesday night.
Fourteen members of the public had opposed the plan over traffic concerns on nearby streets, among other issues.
Under current plans, vehicles would turn off Eaglehawk Road down a one-way driveway to a car park and building set back from the street. They would leave the car park via Carmen Lane and Ashley Street.
Cr Julie Sloan acknowledged residents' concerns but said the council's traffic engineers had reviewed the plans and were satisfied cars would be able to get into and around the site appropriately.
There was significant unmet demand for childcare services in the area, especially for children aged three and four, Cr Julie Sloan told the council meeting.
She said families were grappling with significant pressure to get children into early years programs in the area.
"In fact, 176 spaces are needed by 2029," Cr Sloan said.
"This facility will help meet that demand."
Cr David Fagg said a question remained about the childcare centre's impact on plans for a walking and cycling trail the council is planning in the area.
He was confident that other opportunities for the exact path would arise if the centre went ahead.
"This is a needed service and it is a design that responds well to the local context," Cr Fagg said.
The childcare centre is now allowed to rise on the back half of the vacant site, leaving potential space for unrelated developments at some point in the future.
The land was once home to a foundry with a history stretching back to 1872.
It was demolished in 2013 after falling into disrepair and becoming a target for vandals.
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