AGED CARE BOOM
Hostel will undergo $14m build to provide 32 more beds
ST Catherine’s Hostel in Wangaratta will undergo a $14 million redevelopment, boosting capacity by 32 beds and offering a new car park access point from Ovens Street.
The facility’s aged care waiting list is more than two years, however, higher need residents are given a priority.
Councillors met yesterday and approved the develop- ment with a major amendment noting formal vehicular access to the aged care facility via Art Gallery Lane that runs between the art gallery and performing arts centre.
The construction will include a new two storey wing with basement to the west of the current facility that will be located in the existing main car park.
St Catherine’s chief executive officer Adrian Johnstone expressed his “sincere appreciation to councillors and staff for making it happen”.
“It will be an advantage to the community as there is a high need for extra aged care beds in Wangaratta,” Mr Johnstone said.
The reason for the new access point is because the existing arrangement through the subject land from the rear car park to Ryley Street “is no longer acceptable to the (Catholic) church”.
But under the new condi- tions vehicles larger than 8.8m will not be able to access the facility from the rear laneway.
Due to the need for a loading bay on Ryley Street for larger vehicles, there will be a loss of six on-street car parking spaces between 9.30am and 2pm but a gain of one space outside of these hours.
A reduction of one car park at WPAC will occur, however, nine will remain for public use at the site, with another nine in the St Catherine’s car park also available to the public.
A traffic study was completed and it’s envisaged that an extra 10 entries to the laneway will occur each morning and 20 more of an afternoon.
While morning vehicle exits will be zero, there will be 20 more leaving the laneway during afternoons.
“The modelling indicates that the increase in traffic will remain within capacity of the current intersection,” the report read.
Added traffic volume is not likely to impact pedestrians accessing St Patrick’s Primary School, as council engineers have “advised that the technical services department is satisfied with the anticipated increase in traffic”.
The alternative access route provision went before council in August 2016 and the permit has been approved subject to a revised referral response from VicRoads, and other conditions.