Seniors’ housing proposal receives State Government approval

Site for proposed multi dwelling development at Kanwal Image: Google Maps

A seniors’ housing proposal in Kanwal has been given State Government approval by the Department of Planning and Environment.

The proposal, consisting of 30 two storey, self-contained units, with a supporting communal room and swimming pool, is planned to be built on 3.2 hectares of land at 66 Wahroonga Rd, Kanwal. Following consultation with Central Coast Council, Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Ms Lee Shearer, issued a Site Compatibility Certificate for the site, under the state policy for seniors’ housing (State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004. Under the Housing for Seniors SEPP, a consent authority, such as Central Coast Council, must not consent to a DA to develop land that adjoins land zoned primarily for urban purposes, unless the proposed development is for a hostel, residential care facility or serviced self-care housing.

The consent authority must not consent to serviced self-care housing unless satisfied that the housing will be provided for people with a disability, or in combination with a residential care facility, or as a retirement village. The policy provides for seniors’ housing proposals on land adjoining urban land, provided it satisfies criteria such as compatibility with the surrounding environment and land uses. According to the SEPP, site compatibility certificates are required for seniors’ housing on land adjoining land zoned for urban purposes, land that is within a ‘special uses’ zone, or land used as an existing registered club. Another reason an applicant would need a site compatibility certificate would be if the DA involved buildings having a floor space ratio exceeding that permitted under another environmental planning instrument, by a bonus of 0.5 added to the gross floor area component of that floor space ratio. Wyong Regional Chronicle has asked Ms Shearer for more information about why the applicant needed a compatibility certificate.

The Wahroonga Rd site is within the North Wyong Shire Structure Plan for residential development and is well-located for seniors’ housing, being just 800m from Wyong Hospital, and close to public transport links, according to Ms Shearer. The development also meets one of the four key goals of the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 “to deliver greater housing diversity to accommodate a population forecast to grow by 75,500 people over the next 20 years, 55 percent of whom will be people aged 65 or older,” she said. “Having explored all the relevant issues, we found this to be a development proposal that aligns closely with our stated goal to provide a variety of housing choice to suit all needs and lifestyles,” Ms Shearer said. “It is vital that we accommodate senior members of our community is well planned, safe and affordable housing. “It’s also important that housing is near family, friends and the services and amenities they need to continue leading an active, happy and fulfilling life.” With the certificate now issued, the applicant can lodge a development application with Central Coast Council. The proposal will be subject to development assessment processes, including the opportunity for community consultation in accordance with Council’s policies. According to Central Coast Council’s online development application tracker for Wyong, no DA has been lodged for the property.

Source: Media release, Jan 24 Matt Porter, NSW Planning and Environment Website, Feb 2 Applications for 66 Wahroonga Rd, Kanwal Lot 1 DP553840 Website, Feb 2 NSW Government Legislation, SEPP Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability 2004