Hornsby Shire Council has come under fire for rejecting a new “Dural Health Hub” at Round Corner Dural which would meet “the needs of a growing and ageing population”.
Healing ONR proposed the development of a two storey 4,100m health services facility described as bringing “a strong mix of much needed hospital grade services into the heart of this thriving community”.
The concept includes 19 specialist consulting rooms, a 16-room medical centre, day surgery with four operating rooms, 20 recovery bays and 15 short stay beds, pathology collection area, medical imaging centre as well as two basement carparking levels and an ambulance bay.
Hornsby Shire Councillors unanimously voted against the development at the 13th July Council meeting, citing a slew of inconsistencies, including the proposal being incompatible with the rural zone setting and impacts to traffic in the area.
COUNCIL’S REJECTION WAS DUE TO:
• Inconsistency with the Greater Sydney Regional Plan and the North District Plan.
• Inconsistency with Section 9.1 Ministerial Directions.
• Inconsistency with the Hornsby Local Strategic Planning Statement.
• Inconsistency with the Hornsby Employment Lands Study.
• Inconsistency with the Rural Lands Study. The proposed land use is incompatible with the rural zone setting.
• There are potential amenity impacts with the built form on adjoining properties. There are potential traffic impacts on the surrounding road network.
Healing ONR said it was now requesting an Additional Permitted Use (APU) via a planning proposal request. This would allow them to “obtain a development application approval for the development of the Dural Health Hub facility within the current RU2 Rural Landscape and SP2 Infrastructure zoning, rather than asking for the site to be rezoned to a non comparable business use”.
Healing ONR said “this very specific use provision” means they would not set a “planning precedence and there is minimal risk of the proposal opening the floodgates for other, less harmonious types of development”.
Liminal Property Solutions Director Andrew Bell, representing Healing ONR, said Council “did not consider the continued need for quality health services from residents and the challenges faced by many”.
He said ageing residents in the Dural community should not be forced to travel as far as 80 minutes to access hospital grade health services.
He said they had been working with Council for more than two years and had received the backing of local community, businesses and adjoining landowners.
This decision would be more understandable if there was significant community pushback, but the fact is there has been almost unanimous support. What alternative plans does Council have for meeting this existing and rising demand for accessible health services for our ageing population in Dural?” he said.
Hornsby Councillor Warren Waddell said that although adjoining and nearby businesses, including Thompson Health, had their DAs approved under rural zoning, this Health Hub “did not seek to occupy the entire remaining infill area, so it would be a requirement to rezone the entire strip in order to avoid another ad hoc development”.
He said the design was not “sympathetic” to the site, and there needed to be “less bulk and scale and increased connectivity to the surrounding amenity”.
However, Councillor Waddell said he would support the rezoning of the adjacent Round Corner Village precinct to ensure a “proper marriage of the existing developments and those proposed”.