Nursing home proposal to go before planning panel

The Joint Regional Planning Panel will meet in the Gosford Chamber of Central Coast Council on Thursday, January 24, to determine a proposal for a three-storey aged care facility at 45 Hillview St, Woy Woy.
The NSW Government advertised the public meeting on December 20, which may have been overlooked by many in the community.
Only 10 submissions were received by Central Coast Council so the proposal has not been referred to a Council meeting for consideration.
An assessment report from Council staff has yet to be published on either the Council or JRPP website.
Any person may attend the meeting to observe.
The proposal to be determined by the regional planning panel is similar to an earlier application to amend an existing development approval, which was refused at the beginning of 2018.
The developer is asking for permission to build a $27.85 million, 160-bed aged care facility on the vacant land which is recognised as environmentally sensitive.
The Central Coast Branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation objected to any development on the entire site.
“We call for the land to be compulsorily acquired by the State Government with the support of the Central Coast Council,” said branch secretary Mr John Wiggin in March 2018.
“The State Government has the responsibility under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act for protecting Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland (UCSW) endangered ecological communities,” Mr Wiggin said.
The foundation’s submission said UCSW covers areas of the Hillview St site that were more significant than shown in the developer’s application to Council “yet was discussed to be largely across the area of development by Justice Bignold in the Land and Environment Court case Providence Projects vs Gosford Council.
“Only around 11 hectares of UCSW remain anywhere in the world,” Mr Wiggin said.
“The site of the original development was over 1.16 hectares, more than 10 per cent of this.
“This block of remnant vegetation was a gift of land to the Catholic Church which then sold it off to a developer who wished to make a quick buck, although the community acknowledged and recognised the significance of this vegetation and land and have fought to protect the land and its endangered ecological community.
“The community sentiment and the regional media in 2004 and beyond were very much opposed to the destruction of this rare bushland.”
“The number one risk factor is habitat loss through developmental pressures, exactly what is happening with Hillview St.
“The information accompanying the application is insufficient to justify the development.”
Another submission opposing the development said the whole site should be regarded as Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland endangered ecological community on the basis of the precautionary principle.
“The whole site is rare bushland and should not be developed.
“The activity is inappropriate in the neighbourhood.
“The design is out of character with the area.
“The design is architecturally poor and will have an adverse aesthetic and financial impact on the neighbourhood.
“The activity will have a detrimental effect on the local economy and other providers of aged care on the Peninsula.
“The design does not allow the provision of a high standard of aged care.
“The activity is inconsistent with the retention of bushland on the site.”
To register to speak at the meeting, contact the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm on Tuesday, January 22 on (02) 8217 2060 or email enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au.

SOURCE:
Website, 10 Jan 2019
2018HCC008, Central Coast JRPP

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