Toukley boarding house refused by Local Planning Panel

The former nursing home in Toukley has been vacant since 2018

A proposal for a former 125-bed nursing home overlooking the lake at Toukley to become boarding accommodation has been refused by the Central Coast Local Planning Panel.

A similar application for the site at 51 Peel St, Toukley, was rejected by Central Coast Council in December, 2019.

A new application was submitted to council by Charles Ahady of P Ahadizadeh Pty Ltd in February, and was dealt with by the Local Planning Panel on Thursday, September 17.

The application said that the nursing home closed more than two years ago when it had ceased to be viable and any attempt to re-instigate it would be a significant risk for the owners and users.

“The nursing home became unviable despite its excellent location due to building upgrade requirements and the ongoing cost of running the building in its former use,” the application said.

It has been vacant since it closed and some vandalism had taken place, despite security.

The proposal was to renovate the building and its car park for new boarding accommodation that would contain 72 self-contained rooms.

Twenty-four would be double rooms, including three accessible for people with disability, and 48 single rooms.

The Panel was not opposed to the concept of a boarding house on the site.

However, they thought this proposal was unacceptable in terms of density, amenity for residents was sub-standard, there had been little effort to redress the institutional feel of the building, inadequate communal areas were provided and the building design needed to be substantially improved.

Community panel member, Geoff Mitchell, wanted to defer the matter to give the applicant a chance to make further changes and improvements to the building to address concerns by Central Coast Council.

The development application (153/2020) attracted more than 100 objections.

One said that historically, the use of the site for quiet, elderly, less mobile residents overlooking the lake and near the park had been appropriate.

“But overcrowding the building with 95 potentially unemployed men with different needs, pastimes and activities is totally inappropriate.

“Care facility residents do not roam the streets at night or have any negative social impact on the local community,” the objector said.

Another objection said Peel St would become a thoroughfare for the residents going to and from the nearby pub in various stages of inebriation.

Sue Murray