Nursing home approved for sensitive bushland

A 160-bed aged care nursing home will go ahead in sensitive bushland at 45 Hiillview St, Woy Woy, after gaining approval from the Joint Regional Planning Panel on March 28.
The proposal was not compliant with planning provisions.
It had a topmost ceiling height of 10.95metres, exceeding the eight metre maximum building height development standard.
It was three storeys, exceeding the two-storey height limit for the zone and a single-storey development standard limit on the rear boundary for seniors living developments.
The $28m development owned by Thompson Health Care will site a three-storey nursing home on a cleared space within the property.
A bushland conservation area of 67 per cent of the site will be dedicated to the remnant bushland of Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland.
The panel’s statement of reasons for its decision included being generally in agreement with the environmental assessment outlined in council reports.
The panel was supportive of the nursing home, saying it suited the site and that while a seniors housing development for the site was already approved, this application needed to be assessed on its own merits.
It said the proposal was well below the floor space ratio control and had a smaller footprint with an additional storey on site with high bushland conservation values.
It said the site was unique and was large, well vegetated, removed from residential development and surrounded by roads or reserves which significantly reduced the visual and amenity impacts – related to building height and bulk – on neighbouring land.
“The large site size and the location of the building envelope relative to the retained bushland also provided significant landscaped setbacks to public land and the streetscape, to help mitigate the visual impacts of the building upon the streetscape,’’ the statement said.
It said there was no significant amenity impacts on surrounding land.
The site is adjacent to the Everglades Golf Club, located on the eastern side of Hillview St; with Council recreation and drainage reserves adjacent to the southern and western boundaries, the St John The Baptist School located to the west of the drainage reserve, and four detached houses adjacent to the northern site boundary.
Cr Kyle MacGregor disagreed with the majority decision, which the report noted was consistent with his position when the DA was deferred at a January panel meeting.
The report said Cr MacGregor had the view the application should have been refused for a number of reasons.
These included the impact on the Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland area, as this was one of only three remaining sites of such land on the Endangered Ecological Communities list
He also questioned the potential impact on the water tables and flooding issues on the Woy Woy peninsula.
He noted former refusals of the former Gosford City Council of the same site in the past.
He said the design and the aesthetics of the development contrasted with the character and nature of nearby developments within the Woy Woy peninsula.
The applicant successfully argued its non-compliance with height restrictions were consistent with aims of the Gosford Local Environmental Plan to provide for flexibility and with the State Environmental Planning Policy to increase the supply and diversity of housing required to meet the needs of seniors or people with a disability and to achieve efficient use of existing infrastructure and services.
The matter was determined on March 28 with both Central Coast councillors, Chris Burke and Kyle MacGregor, sending their apologies for not attending.
Panel Members Jason Perica, Kara Krason and Michael Leavey were at the meeting.
The approval is subject to a list of conditions including amendments that require a parking management plan to be prepared and submitted to council for approval.
It must ensure adequate allocation of off-street parking is maintained onsite for staff.
And a bushland plan of management must be implemented and progress reports must be submitted to council at intervals, starting at six months after initial works have started, and ending at 10 years.
Restoration areas are to be maintained in perpetuity.
Reports are to be prepared by an ecologist or bush regenerator and submitted to council detailing the progress of the works twice per year with a final report certifying completion of the Bushland Management Zone to be submitted within three years after initial works have started.

SOURCE
Website, 28 March 2019
Determination, JRPP

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