Friday, December 9, 2011

Childcare and education centres irritate neighbours

NEIGHBOURLINESS turned into animosity overnight when a group of residents complained to the Ipoh City Council that there were three centres for child care and education in their midst.The neighbours of a nursery, a kindergarten and a daycare centre along Laluan Tasek Timur 16 in Taman Sri Dermawan, Bercham cited noisy children and traffic congestion as reasons for wanting the authorities to shut down the centres.

The centres, which started to operate some 14 years ago, have a total enrolment of 95 now.

Resident Liam Heng Weng, 45, claimed it was jammed in front of his house in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons, and he could not get out of his house.

Traffic chaos: Parents ferrying their children to and from the nurseries pose problems to the residents.

He also complained of screaming children during lessons and activities.

Another resident Lam Wai Men,52, said the only peace he had was during public holidays.

Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran, who accompanied the residents to the council office on Tuesday questioned the council’s decision to renew the licence of the nursery which occupied two lots — No. 84 and 86.

The council had rejected the licence renewal application for the kindergarten which occupied No. 88.

Kulasegaran and the residents later spoke to reporters after meeting council secretary Datuk Abdul Rahim Md Arif and council city planning department director Zulqarnain Mohamad.

Zulqarnain assured the residents that action would be taken against the operator P’ng Cheng Mei for operating the daycare centre at another lot at the area — No. 98 — without a licence.

He told MetroPerak that the council’s one-stop-centre (OSC) had the jurisdiction to approve an application despite objections as long as it was satisfied that all requirements and regulations have been met.

“Residents could write in to the council’s Appeal Board if they are not satisfied with the OSC’s decision,” Zulqarnain explained.

P’ng, 43, meanwhile, feels she had been treated unfairly.

“I have been operating here for 14 years without any problem.

“All of a sudden, when I went to the Ipoh City Council to renew my licence at No. 88 in April, I was told it would not be renewed due to complaints from neighbours,” she said.

The nursery and kindergarten have a total of 80 pupils while the day care centre has 15.

P’ng denied that the pupils’ parents had blocked the entrance to her neighbours’ houses.

Council legal officer Syahrul Azrin Ghazali explained that a nursery, kindergarten and day care centre are three different category of premises.

“The law states that not more than one similar premise (same category) is allowed within a distance of 200m or less,” he told MetroPerak.

He said the law did not impose any restriction on the number of premises from different categories in an area, provided there were no objections from the neighbours.

Syahrul, however, said under the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, the consent of neighbours is needed when opening a nursery, kindergarten or day care centre.

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