New hos­pi­tal plans fail to win sup­port

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JES­SICA HOWARD Ur­ban Af­fairs Re­porter

A NEW pri­vate hos­pi­tal pro­posed for Ho­bart’s north­ern sub­urbs looks set to be re­fused by coun­cil af­ter the pro­po­nents de­cided to not make a new ap­pli­ca­tion.

Last month, the Ho­bart City Coun­cil plan­ning com­mit­tee voted to de­fer the ap­pli­ca­tion for a $50 mil­lion Tas­man Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal at the old Win TV site at 48-52 New Town Rd, New Town.

The de­fer­ral was to give the ap­pli­cants time to con­sider fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion with coun­cil staff and the com­mu­nity for a po­ten­tial re­design.

A plan­ning of­fi­cer had said a sig­nif­i­cant re­design and read­ver­tis­ing would likely be needed to make the build­ing com­pli­ant with the plan­ning scheme.

The de­sign for the bou­tique four-storey med­i­cal cen­tre in­cluded six op­er­at­ing the­atres and a 24-bed overnight ward as well as a phar­macy, ra­di­ol­ogy, con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties, doc­tors’ rooms and health sup­port ser­vices.

The pro­ject is a joint-venture be­tween na­tional short­stay hos­pi­tal spe­cial­ist Nexus Hos­pi­tals and Con­tact Group, a Tas­ma­ni­an­based fam­ily con­struc­tion busi­ness.

The ap­pli­ca­tion drew wide­spread op­po­si­tion from the New Town com­mu­nity and it was stand­ing room only with res­i­dents pack­ing out a meet­ing last month.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was rec­om­mended for re­fusal by coun­cil staff on six grounds, in­clud­ing that it did not con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to the streetscap­e and would have an un­rea­son­able im­pact on res­i­den­tial amenity.

Since the de­fer­ral, a meet­ing was held be­tween the pro­po­nents and some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity about po­ten­tial changes.

Some of the changes in­cluded in­creas­ing some set­backs, ad­di­tional land­scap­ing and pri­vacy screen­ing.

How­ever, op­po­nents told coun­cil staff the changes did not go far enough.

With the ap­pli­ca­tion due to ex­pire on De­cem­ber 3, the pro­po­nents have asked the coun­cil to con­sider ap­prov­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion sub­ject to conditions to achieve the sug­gested changes.

How­ever, the plan­ning com­mit­tee agenda reads: “The of­fi­cer view … is that any ap­proval that in­cluded conditions to achieve those changes would re­quire the pro­posal ap­plied for to be changed to such an ex­tent the va­lid­ity of such an ap­proval would be ques­tion­able in the event of a third party ap­peal, ex­pos­ing coun­cil to po­ten­tial costs.”

The pro­posal is rec­om­mended for re­fusal at Mon­day night’s plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing, with the pro­po­nents “en­cour­aged to sub­mit a new ap­pli­ca­tion re­spond­ing to the con­cerns out­lined”.

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