Aged-care at Evans
THE way has been paved for a new aged-care facility to be built on a section of land at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome.
Richmond Valley Council on Wednesday announced the Minister for Planning, Kristina Keneally, had approved an application by the council to rezone the land.
“It is pleasing the Minister has recognised the need to support and approve the rezoning which now clearly provides the opportunity for an aged-care facility to be built,” council general manager Brian Wilkinson said.
The Heritage Council of NSW devised a management plan for the heritage-listed site which protected its historical importance, but also allowed for continued aviation activities and the development of an aged- care facility.
The site was once an RAAF training airfield used during World War II.
For the aged-care facility to go ahead the land, which was zoned industrial in one section and rural in another, needed to be rezoned.
Under the Minister's decision about 4.8ha of the site have been rezoned as village, which will allow for the construction of the facility on 9.5ha.
It is expected RSL LifeCare will build the facility.
Mr Wilkinson said there had been ongoing opposition to the proposal to build aged-care facilities at the site from a 'minority section' of the community.
The rezoning was part of the council's plan to conserve aspects of the site, as well as increasing community amenities, he said.
Long-time opponent of the aged-care facility on the aerodrome site, Dr Richard Gates of Evans Head, said he would have preferred the whole of the aerodrome site was preserved for aviation use.
“You can build an aged-care facility anywhere,” Dr Gates said.