An artist impression of the proposed private hospital at Byron Bay.
An artist impression of the proposed private hospital at Byron Bay. Contributed

New hospital fails to get DA approval

A PRIVATE hospital at Byron Bay has failed to have its development application approved by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel at a meeting last week.

A decision on the $5 million project on the corner of Ewingsdale Road and McGettigans Lane was deferred at a meeting on October 18 pending further assessment of the application.


The plans submitted by Brunsmed include a hospital with medical consulting rooms, day theatre, pharmacy, specialist consulting rooms, 12 accommodation units, cafe/restaurant, basement and ground level parking. It also includes the removal of trees, earthworks and demolition of an existing dwelling.

Reasons for deferral included: the impact of increased traffic on Ewingsdale Road - particularly at the intersection with McGettigans Lane, concerns about building height, noise and waste, location suitability, and insufficient parking.

Under the Byron Local Environmental Plan 2014 (BLEP2014) the proposed building height of 9.9m on some buildings exceeds the maximum building height of 9m above the existing ground level.

In their application, Brunsmed asked for a variation of the LEP height restriction.

They said there were National Construction Code requirements for floor to ceiling heights for medical treatment rooms.

The extended floor to ceiling height would permit essential ceiling mounted equipment such as radiology equipment and lights. Brunsmed said without this essential equipment, the use of the operating theatres would be drastically restricted and limit the services provided to the wider Byron community.

They said due to the natural slope of the land, only a small portion of one of the buildings proposed on site is located above the 9m maximum building height line.

They claimed the development "will contribute to medical facilities availability and diversity in the local area".

In response to the DA, 10 submissions were received about the development.

Amongst concerns were; increased traffic, insufficient on-site car parking, over development, setbacks, height, bulk and scale of the proposal being inappropriate in the R5 Large lot Residential Zone.

The JRPP said overall the development was considered to be an unsatisfactory response to the site and its surroundings with regards to traffic generation, car parking, setbacks, built form (height, bulk, massing and scale) and visual impact. It is considered these matters are unable to be overcome via conditions of consent.

The developers had 30 days to respond to the concerns at which time another meeting of the JRPP would be held to determine the matter.

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