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Upgrade Childcare Centre

In accordance with an assessment under ss104(1)(a) and (ab) of the RMA, the actual and potential effects from the proposal will be acceptable as: 

There are no physical changes to the external building facades of the existing building on site (both ground and first floor level). The building maintains a residential character in terms of its form and use of materials. Therefore, it will integrate with the existing residential setting on the surrounding sites. 

A large portion of the south-western part of the site is dedicated to landscaping being utilised for the outdoor play area. As the existing landscape strategy on site has existed since the development of the building on the site prior to the year 2000, it is considered that any adverse effects to the surrounding environment is considered less than minor. The residential unit at first floor level has been provided with two large decks and does not require any outdoor living spaces or landscaped areas at ground floor level. 

The proposed residential unit is accessed via an external staircase that is separated from the existing childcare centre at ground floor level. The applicant has confirmed that there are fences to separate the play areas and the residential unit to avoid any potential conflicts between the two activities on site. Appropriate conditions will be provided to ensure that the access to the residential unit remains via the external staircase and not through the internal space of the building. 

Effective from 17th of February 2022 parking is not required for childcare centres as per NPS (UD). Hence the parking provided is considered satisfactory. The childcare facility will operate from 7.30am to 6.00pm daily except for weekends and no change is proposed. The centre is located on a popular bus route, but cycle lane facilities are not provided on McKenzie Road for staff to travel. It is considered that the adverse effects will be less than minor on the operation and safety of the primary Road Network. With the proposed increase of one dwelling and increase number of children from 30 to 50 on site. The additional trip generation is unlikely to result in any adverse effects. 

McKenzie Road is classified as an Arterial Road in the Auckland Council Plan. It has one traffic lane in each direction. The traffic lanes are separated by flush median marking. The posted speed limit on McKenzie Road is 60km/hr. It has a carriageway 
width of 12.0m. Cycle lanes are not marked on both sides of McKenzie Road. The closest intersection of Tarata Crescent with McKenzie Road is over 40m from the closest edge of the vehicle crossing and is outside the 10m threshold.

The one-way existing northern vehicle crossing will be reconstructed to accommodate light vehicle tracking curve for ease of manoeuvring while exiting the site & to meet widths at the road kerb to meet ATCOP Standards. The width of the vehicle crossing will be 5.0m at the boundary and does not comply. The over width is to accommodate the tracking curve of light vehicles as the internal driveway is adjacent the front boundary. No change is proposed to the existing southern vehicle crossing. An assessment shows that the additional traffic generation of about 20 to 24v/h during peak hour is not significant and is less than the 100v/h threshold. Hence the proposal could be accommodated within the road network with less than minor effects. Therefore, the adverse traffic effects due the proposal on the intersection and/or the adjacent local road network will be less than minor. 

Given the existing site and building design and layout noise can be internalised to a large degree. The existing acoustic fencing around the rear outdoor play area will not change and is effective in mitigating noise from children playing outside. The outdoor play is limited to the rear yard at ground level which is surrounded by effective acoustic fencing up to 2.3m above ground level. The predicted noise levels are well below the permitted standards under Chapter E25. The assessment demonstrates that noise from the childcare operation with increased number of children to 50 will be compliant within all adjacent sites zoned residential as existing acoustic fencing around the existing outdoor play area will not change. Overall, I consider that noise effects within all adjacent sites will be reasonable subject to compliance with recommended conditions. 

In terms of positive effects, the proposal will contribute to the community’s wellbeing and provide a necessary resource for Auckland’s growing population. 

With reference to s104(1) (ab), there are no specific offsetting or environmental compensation measures proposed or agreed to by the applicant to ensure positive effects on the environment.