New South Wales
In summary, this proposal constitutes a major over-development of the site and I formally request that its scale be significantly reduced.
The RACF proposes 135 beds and 40 staff. There are 221 ILUs proposed, assuming 1.2 residents per ILU ie 265 residents and 133 private apartments assuming 1.5 residents ie 200 residents. It is therefore proposed to cram 640 people onto a suburban site. My major concern is the implication of such a large number of people on the amenity of surrounding residences and particularly on parking availability.
I note 409 cark parks are proposed. The assumptions on number of vehicles per ILU, and the numbers of staff and visitors are clearly too low.
The assumptions on public transport are misrepresented. The only bus route in easy walking distance is route 48, which provides an hourly service from Belmont to Warners Bay! The other stated routes are beyond a normal walking distance and completely impractical for staff travelling to and from work after dark. It is highly likely that most staff and visitors will drive to the site and provision of parking for these stakeholders is clearly deficient.
I visit my disabled daughter at 9 James St Charlestown second daily. Currently there are no issues re parking. This will become a major issue with the proposed new development because of the over capitalisation of the site and spill over of staff and visitors into surrounding streets. One has only to view the number of vehicles parking on the road outside the Hunter Health facilities and Amaroo Lodge on nearby Dudley Rd to understand the potential impact on surrounding streets from such a large development. Parking availability at the local Whitebridge shops has become problematic since the recent adjacent over-development in Whitebridge. I submit that occupants of the Uniting Care proposal will also seek to access this neighbourhood shopping centre further exacerbating the problem.
As a general practitioner I have visited many aged care facilities in the local region, and experienced the difficulty and frustration of finding available parking spaces when visiting patients. I am also very aware of the large numbers of nursing, administration and catering staff required for such a large undertaking. I believe these numbers are understated in the submission. 600 elderly people will be visited regularly by family and friends who will mostly require parking and many of whom will have reduced mobility. Some elderly partners will visit the aged care facility every day. The current standards stated in the submission, are obviously insufficient for the reality of aged care.
I believe that is important that the number of ILU's and private apartments proposed for the site be significantly decreased, and the number of parking spaces significantly increased to reduce the impact on the amenity for residents in the local community.