A $7 million development application (DA) to extend services and facilities at Hawkesbury Living has been given the green light - more than a year since it was submitted to Hawkesbury Council.
The two-storey extension will accommodate 36 additional beds and the inclusion of services on the second floor including childcare, adolescent respite, suicide prevention services and special needs services.
CEO of Richmond Club and Hawkesbury Living, Kimberley Talbot, told the Gazette the development aims to centralise important health services in the region and create a health hub that integrates the residents of Hawkesbury Living into the community, promoting social inclusion.
Ms Talbot said the location would allow people in the region to have better access to vital services without the need to travel long distances.
‘‘Driving the club’s involvement in aged care is a vision for ensuring the elderly remain connected in their communities and providing people with the Hawkesbury at every stage of their life,” Ms Talbot said.
Director of city planning, Matthew Owens, said despite a number of issues, including heritage and parking, which needed to be settled prior to DA approval, the community will benefit from an increase in aged care services and accommodation as well as the opening of a local oncology clinic.
“Protracted negotiations between Council and the developer which involved heritage matters, the location and operation of the oncology clinic, parking issues and linkages to the existing Hawkesbury Living development were among the issues needed to be settled prior to development application approval,’’ he said.
Council’s consent will remain in place for a minimum of five years before commencement and then ongoing once commenced.
The extension is Stage three of Ms Talbot’s plan to develop a world-class model of aged-care in the Hawkesbury.
Stage one was completed in 2009 at a cost of $2.2 million and increased the number of beds from 71 to 83.
The second stage included the development of Magnolia Place at a cost of $2 million, which featured 10 state of the art memory care suites catering for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“For eight years, Richmond Club has been at the forefront of ongoing development of Hawkesbury Living,’’ Ms Talbot said.