$ 55m de­vel­op­ment to give site new life

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BACKHOUSE an­drew. backhouse@ news. com. au

A NEW pri­vate hos­pi­tal pro­posed for West End will in­clude a phar­macy and cafe, plans re­leased by de­vel­op­ers have re­vealed.

A sec­tion of Wil­son Rd will also be per­ma­nently closed as part of the project.

Grif­fin Group is seek­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion to build a five- storey ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed and pur­pose- built hos­pi­tal on Sturt St and Ing­ham Rd.

The $ 55 mil­lion project will in­clude 22 pri­vate hos­pi­tal beds.

A de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion lodged with Townsville City Council stated that, while the phar­macy and cafe would pri- mar­ily ser­vice the needs of pa­tients and visi­tors to the hos­pi­tal, the op­er­a­tor of the hos­pi­tal iden­ti­fied trad­ing to the gen­eral pub­lic would also be im­por­tant.

As part of the project, Wil­son St will be closed be­tween O’Brien St and Ing­ham Rd.

The clo­sure of the Wil­son St re­serve will re­sult in sev­er­ance of the ex­ist­ing pub­lic pedes­trian path be­tween Ing­ham Rd and Townsville West State School.

That link will be re- es­tab- lished along an align­ment ex­tend­ing from the memo­rial gates on Ing­ham Rd to the south­east cor­ner of the her­itage build­ing to Wil­son St.

The state- of- the- art hos­pi­tal will in­clude spe­cial­ist ser­vices such as ra­di­ol­ogy, car­di­ol­ogy, max­illo­fa­cial, phys­io­ther­apy, pathol­ogy and med­i­cal con­sult­ing rooms.

There will also be a re­cep­tion, of­fice, ameni­ties and back- of- house fa­cil­i­ties.

The de­vel­op­ment in­volves the re­ten­tion and re­pur­pos­ing of the old her­itage- listed Townsville West State School.

The for­mer school, which opened in 1939, is no­table for its in­ter- war style brick build­ing and memo­rial gates.

The Sol­diers’ Memo­rial Gate was the first memo­rial of its kind erected in Townsville.

The mon­u­ment com­mem­o­rates “the glo­ri­ous deeds, re­mark­able achieve­ments, en­dur­ing courage, no­ble sac­ri­fices and no­bil­ity of char­ac­ter” of the school’s teach­ers and past pupils killed or wounded in World War I. The gate will be re­tained and used as the main pedes­trian en­try.

Grif­fin Group di­rec­tor Ben Grif­fin told the Bul­letin in Fe­bru­ary the de­vel­op­ment would re­spect the her­itage build­ing and re­vi­talise it into a thriv­ing health precinct with a na­tional pro­file.

A new light­weight glazed pedes­trian bridge will link the ex­ist­ing build­ing to the pro­posed hos­pi­tal build­ing at lev­els one and two.

The de­vel­op­ers plan to re­pair roof­ing, down­pipes, cracks, brick­work, win­dows and fences as well as re­paint the build­ing as part of the works.

The council’s plan­ning of­fi­cers have raised is­sues re­gard­ing the de­vel­op­ment re­lat­ing to waste man­age­ment, car park­ing and traf­fic flow.

The project is be­ing as­sessed by the council.

HOS­PI­TAL PLAN: Artist im­pres­sions for the Grif­fin Group’s pro­posed West­state Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal de­vel­op­ment on the cor­ner of Ing­ham Rd and Sturt St.

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