An artist's impression of the planned hospital at Ewingsdale.
An artist's impression of the planned hospital at Ewingsdale. Contributed

DA may amend Byron’s environmental plan

PLANS for a retirement village, retail and medical centre adjacent to the hospital at Ewingsdale could see Byron Bay's Local Environmental Plan amended by the NSW government.

Byron Shire Council planning manager Ray Darney said the proposal on the 7.7 hectare Ewingsdale Road site sought additional uses on the site from what was originally proposed.

"The building uses would predominately be for seniors housing with a small portion near the existing concrete batching plant dedicated to permit medical centres, business premises, restaurants or cafes and shops," he said.

It is understood the proposal comprises 77,000 square metres to be occupied by the retirement village and 3000 square metres by retail outlets. When a planning proposal was submitted to council by developers in May 2013, it was sent to the NSW Department of Planning to consider additional land usage.

Byron Council deemed the proposal potentially unsuitable and it was referred to the NSW Department of Planning for community feedback.

As a result, the proposal was put on public exhibition until August 12, to gather community feedback.

Following the public exhibition, if council determines the additional land uses should be allowed, Mr Darney said an additional development application will need to be lodged and approved prior to any work commencing at the site.

"With the over 65 demographic being projected to move from 13% of our population currently to 22% in our Shire by the year 2031, Council believes this planning proposal should be considered and could compliment the future hospital site and the needs of an ageing population," he said.

Community meetings have been organised by developers Urban Concepts on behalf of the current owners of the site.

Three meetings will be held on Tuesday, July 29, at Ewingsdale Hall about the proposal, and all are welcome.

The first will run between 10am and noon, followed by another meeting from 2pm till 4pm and then 6pm to 8pm.



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