Court to mediate over Toukley boarding house

The old nursing home in Toukley

The Land and Environment Court has called a conciliation conference in an attempt to resolve matters surrounding a boarding house proposal in Toukley.

It involves transforming a rundown old nursing home at 51 Peel St into a boarding house for up to 92 people.

Residents have always strongly opposed various forms of the development application dating back to 2018, which also have been rejected by Central Coast Council and the Local Planning Panel.

Owners G Ahadizadeh Pty Ltd, Mr A Ahadizadeh and Mr C Ahadizadeh, operating under the company name Seranin Group, have now submitted their fifth revised proposal.

At the same time the Ahadizadehs filed an appeal with the NSW Land and Environment Court against Council’s deemed refusal of this new DA.

That appeal brought about a conciliation conference where a Commissioner of the Court will meet with representatives of the residents, Council, the Panel and owners at the Peel St site on Wednesday, July 27 at 9.30am.

The plan is to redevelop the former nursing home, which has been vacant since 2018, into affordable rental housing with 55 rooms comprising 17 singles and 38 doubles, including three accessible rooms and a manager’s quarters.

There will be four communal areas and a 24-hour onsite manager operating the boarding house under a Plan of Management.

An upgraded rear car park, with access off Alice Pde, will have space for 32 cars, 13 motorbikes and 13 bicycles.

The proposed new look for an old nursing home

Over the years, the proposal has been scaled back from 72 rooms, to 65 and now 55, however, the number of potential residents has grown from 84 to 92, by including more double rooms.

Residents say this modification was subtly introduced in the hope it would be overlooked.

“We recognise the need for housing, but 92 people in one building is an overload,” one said.

Residents have come together through a facebook group called Concerned Residents of Proposal for Boarding, Toukley to present a united front in opposing this proposal.

Council has already received hundreds of individual objections and several petitions each with hundreds of signatures.

They oppose the boarding house mainly because of a poor management model, over-development, wellbeing impacts on mental health and isolation leading to escalation of anti-social behaviour, too far from services, traffic and parking problems and pedestrian safety along the narrow ill-formed Peel St.

A spokesperson for the resident group said there was a shortage of support services which would lead to further disadvantage for lodgers at the boarding house.

“Doctors aren’t taking new patients, there’s long waits for bulk billed patients, and general support and mental health services are all but non-existent,” she said.

“Local neighbourhood support services, such as the food hub, are already overloaded.

“A major point in the Social Impact Statement, was that there were concerns relating to mental health issues that could occur by having a large number of males living within the one building.

“It’s not a supported boarding house like the ones run by professional housing providers, so there won’t be any wraparound support services, for example mental health, alcohol and drugs, which only places these vulnerable residents at further disadvantage.

“Also, there is little in the way of employment opportunities, as this area has a high youth unemployment rate, and public transport in and out of Toukley is limited to buses which are not conveniently scheduled.”

Residents are concerned lack of all these support services could lead to anti-social behaviour, spilling into the street and along the waterfront park where families and children played and seniors walked.

“The need for further low-income boarding houses in the area is highly questionable and this Peel St development is higher-density than other similar accommodation in Toukley,” the spokesperson said.

“Recently a three-storey boarding house was completed at 268 Main Rd, along with a 29-room boarding house at Canton Beach and 34 affordable low-income units in Dunleigh St.

“Affordable housing is proposed at 139 Main Rd and further 24 units in Victoria St as well as many granny flats added to the rear of homes,” she said.

In 2020 when the Local Planning Panel rejected the development it said that as a concept, it was not opposed to a boarding house on the site, however, it was far too dense, amenity for residents was substandard, there was little effort to redress the institutional feel of the building, inadequate communal areas, and building design needed improvement.

This new DA addresses all the reasons for previous refusal, according to the development application, which says the building upgrade would set a good standard for urban renewal and reuse of institutional buildings.

Sue Murray

7 Comments on "Court to mediate over Toukley boarding house"

  1. Do NOT WANT an affordable housing block in our steet I AGREE WITH what’s written above

  2. Margaret Hatton | July 15, 2022 at 6:57 am |

    Please this is putting to many people who most will have addiction in one place. I understand people need low cost housing. It has been proved many times in the past that this sort of housing becomes a ghetto. A small boarding house can be managed this won’t be how can one person handle 90 men. Why do we allow a developer so many applications to be heard he doesn’t live here. Listen to the people this is our home, thank you

    • Is it still going to be 90 men at this Boarding House maybe things have changed from a year ago. Well hopefully it will be resolved soon so everyone can have some peace of mind.

  3. Typical NIMB so sad that a lot of people just do not understand how fortunate they are. “ There but for ??????

  4. Rosalien McQueen | July 17, 2022 at 8:02 pm |

    Maybe return to an aged care facility

  5. Oh my are you people sure its going to house 90 men like some people are saying. Yes I understand that you are scared that your lives might not be the same but hey lets embrace this and stop being so selfish and lets get this Boarding House built

  6. Jennifer Blake | July 28, 2022 at 9:50 am |

    It was so good to see so many turn up yesterday to the Silent Protest but will it be enough to stop this

Comments are closed.