AN AGED care development worth more than $23 million was given the green light at a meeting of the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) in Forster on September 19.
Great Lakes Aged and Invalid Care Assoc Ltd (GLAICA) is celebrating the end of an approval process that began in February this year.
Chairman Bruce Parsons said the merits of the development were clearly supported by the JRPP.
“I was pleased that the report (prepared by Great Lakes council staff) was a balanced report, objections were dealt with fairly, and the merits of the application were deemed strong,” he said.
Mr Parsons said, after the release of the finalised conditions of consent, work would start on preparing a construction certificate for the first stage of ‘Pacific Cape’, to be built on the corner of Kularoo Drive and Karloo Streets.
The development will include 50 self-care units, and a multi-story 144-bed aged care facility, a clubhouse for recreation, open space and a croquet lawn.
Mr Parsons said the aim of the development was to allow clients to move smoothly from one level of care to the next.
“The most traumatic decision is when you have to move someone in care to another facility offsite,” he said.
Mr Parsons said, in the Pacific Cape model, the trauma of the move would be gone.
“It just happens – it’s happening in the facility we have now (GLAICA House, Tuncurry).”
In supporting the development, JRPP member Bob McCotter said he had personal experience of the ‘aging in place’ model that Pacific Cape aimed to deliver, which he supported. His 89-year-old mother moved into an integrated facility 12 years ago.
“Two years ago, she was moved 100m down the road to the hostel section and that move was astonishingly untraumatic,” he said.
“The model of aging in care in my experience is a very productive one.”
JRPP acting chair Jason Perica said the site, once designated to be a school, was well suited to its use.
“It is nice that a site intended originally to look after young people will now look after the old – who are equally important in a healthy society,” he said.
After spending some time amending some of the 99 conditions of consent contained the 108 page council report, the five-person JRPP voted unanimously to approve the aged care development.
In a boost for Great Lakes Council, the extensive report on the development was praised as “the best” acting Mr Perica had seen in four years representing the JRPP.
The development will be built over seven stages, starting with the self-care villas and working towards the large aged care facility.