The local group working to keep the old Byron Hospital in community hands will engage experts to inspect the site, including an evaluation of possible asbestos contamination.
The head of the Byron Hospital working group, Chris Hanley, said the evaluation was part of the ‘due diligence’ being done by the community as it developed its proposal for the 2,000sqm site.
‘We want to make sure that if we’re successful in acquiring the building that we know what the state of structure is,’ Mr Hanley said.
‘We will also soon be undertaking a tour of the site with the architects.’
The community has put forward a range of ideas for the future of the site, including ‘crisis accommodation, affordable accommodation on limited tenure and a facility that could deliver services similar to the now defunct Fletcher Street Cottage.
Though the land is owned by the State Government and so could be sold to a developer or other private enterprise, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has promised that locals will be given the first opportunity to make their pitch.
Mr Hanley said that at a recent meeting of departmental officials, state politicians, community and council representatives, the deadline for the community to put forward its proposal was extended.
‘The deadline was extended from April 30 to June 30 to give the community a bit more time to finalise its proposal,’ Mr Hanley said.
‘I would encourage organisations that want to be part of the site to send me letters of intent.’
Ideas can be emailed to [email protected]