Panel listens to nursing home developer and objectors
The joint regional planning panel listened to three speakers against the nursing home proposal for Hillview St, Woy Woy, and to the developer and his team at a three-hour meeting at Gosford Council chambers.
The three were local residents Ms Charmaine Beckett, Mr Norm Harris and Mr Mark Snell.
Ms Beckett spoke to her own objection. Mr Harris spoke on behalf of the Save Woy Woy group and Mr Snell (who is Peninsula News editor) presented a submission on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation Central Coast branch.
Ms Beckett said she was a retired geologist and she felt she had been beaten into submission, arguing against development on the site for more than a decade.
She said her address would focus on two issues presuming the development would get approved.
"My issues are in regard to strengthening the provisions to protect the conservation zone,'' she said.
Her first issue was with an underground car park below the water table, which she said would impact on the root zones of large trees in the area and also impact on the lateral flow of water.
"I hope you're using high quality cement,'' she said.
In response, a spokesman for the developer said the underground carpark would be 1.6 metres and would not go lower to the water table at 2 metres.
Ms Beckett's second issue was with landscaping the site which contains some of Umina's last remnant vegetation of ecologically-endangered Umina Coastal Sandplain Woodland.
Save Woy Woy Group spokesman Mr Norm Harris urged the panel to ask for an up to date flood study, saying the much of the flood study in the development application was obsolete.
"Climate Change Policy complicated the matter further,'' he said, citing flooding in the area eight times in 2016 and nine times in 2017 but added that there no flood gauges nearby.
The owner, Mr Doug Thompson, from Thompson Health Care, said he was happy to agree that no exotic species would be planted.
He said he regarded himself as a good citizen and he was a conservationist and his wife was a horticulturist.
He had 12 nursing homes and would continue to build more as there was a tsunami of people waiting for places.
He owned a nursing home at Karalta Rd, Erina, and he had an occupancy of 100 per cent with a waiting list.
"We need more nursing homes,'' he said.
The application includes a dementia wing of 20 rooms and 52 basement car parking spaces, one ground level accessible car parking space and one ambulance bay.
The building would be located on a part of the site previously cleared in accordance with the
May 2007 council approval for a 39-unit retirement village.
Hearing, 24 Jan 2019
Joint Regional Planning Panel, Hunter Central Coast
Reporter: Merilyn Vale