AGED CARE BOOM

Hos­tel will un­dergo $14m build to pro­vide 32 more beds

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ne­me­dia.com.au

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.

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