The backers of the Bradfordville Health Hub are in talks with aged care developers about building a facility on land at the rear of their project.
Sophie Ashton, director of Cullingral Pty Ltd, a family trust, argues theres a clear need for another aged care facility in Goulburn.
From speaking to people involved in the industry, there appears to be significant demand, particularly for affordable aged care. People are coming from Sydney for that and we have an ageing population in Goulburn, Ms Ashton said.
It was obvious to us that if we have 35 acres for a health hub, we should include that in our plans because it ties in well with our other developments.
Councillors at their meeting on Tuesday endorsed an amended planning proposal, incorporating aged care, to be sent to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a gateway determination. It asks that the Ashtons land be rezoned from IN1 general industrial to SP2 infrastructure. It will allow stage two of the project, comprising day surgery, a rehabilitation clinic, oncology unit, research facility and aged care. If the rezoning is approved, the proponents can then lodge a development application to the council.
Councillors endorsed the same rezoning in March but state planners discovered it did not permit aged care. Ms Ashton described it as a technicality that was nobodys fault but which had delayed the process by six months.
The facility would be built off Brewer Street, behind the former Tully Park Tavern.
Part of the proposal is to create an entrance off that that side (from Brewer Street), Ms Ashton said.
The councils main concern is increased traffic flow to the area and the conflict with industrial vehicles so to address that wed create a road from Brewer Street.
The council has also requested that development control plans be in place before the land is rezoned to ensure the best land use planning outcomes.
The Ashtons are fully expecting to furnish a master plan for the site.
They would partner with an aged care provider; Ms Ashton said the family still wanted to be invested in the project rather than taking a hands off approach. She estimated it could take another year to gain full approval.
Backing information supplied with the planning proposal stated that the Upper Lachlan/Goulburn Mulwaree area had six residential aged care homes, providing a total of 123 high care and 240 low care places. It concluded that the number of places provided per 1000 people aged over 70 was lower than the Local Health District overall.
The Ashtons are hoping to provide a mix of residential and acute care places.
Meantime, they are also in serious discussion with a health operator about the planned day surgery.
We are at the business feasibility stage in figuring out exactly what we do in terms of the specialists we have there, Ms Ashton said.
We have a good relationship with Goulburn Base Hospital and were talking to them because we dont want to duplicate services that will be provided as part of the new hospital. We both realise theres a real opportunity to work together.
The Health Hub is also considering radiology as part of stage two, given what Ms Ashton says is strong demand in Goulburn.
While the developers have experienced difficulty in attracting specialists here, specialists have been a different matter.
Weve been surprised by how interested they are in coming to Goulburn. We now have 17 whove come from Canberra, Bowral and Sydney, Ms Ashton said.
Council planners have endorsed the LEP amendment to allow stage two of the project, saying it would bring economic and social benefits and was supported by the Goulburn Mulwaree Employment Land Strategy.