A large medical centre on the corner of McGettigans Lane and Ewingsdale Road has been approved by the Joint Regional Planning panel (JRPP).
To alert the public of the meeting which was to decide upon the huge development, an ad was placed in The Byron News classifieds last week.
The proposal would see medical and specialist consulting rooms, a day theatre, pharmacy, 12 overnight stay units, cafe and basement and ground-level parking are all estimated to cost $8m.
JRPP chair Gary West, a former NSW National Party MP, told The Echo that it will be approved in two stages, which includes an upgrade of the intersection, located near a crest and Byron Central Hospital.
West told The Echo the plans would minimise the traffic burden.
When The Echo asked how minimising traffic impacts would improve an already gridlocked and overburdened road, Mr West said, ‘Listen, I’m not going to get into a debate about that now. I have a meeting to go to.’
The Echo previously reported that the developer’s traffic consultants admit this proposal could generate 686 new traffic movements on an already overburdened road.
The traffic consultants also admit their report ‘does include the caveat that there is widespread variation observed in the base data, and consequently the average rates cannot be relied upon for accurately predicting the trip generation at a particular facility.’
To mitigate unmanageable traffic, the proponents say restrictions to hours of operation will limit traffic impacts.
It reads, ‘The proposed restrictions would see the consultation rooms and pharmacy not opening until 9.30am on weekdays to avoid the am peak (8.15–9.15am) on the adjacent road network, while these same land uses would also be closed between 2 and 4pm (between 2.30 and 4pm for the pharmacy) to avoid impacts on the pm peak (3–4pm) in particular.’
An ASIC search reveals the owners of applicant Brunsmed Pty Ltd are Victorian-based Joel, Gary and John Wertheimer.
While councils are generally the determining authority for developments, the NSW government appointed JRPP determine DAs over $20m. Specialist health facilities such as this have a lower threshold. The JRPP comprises panels across NSW and have an almost 100 per cent approval rate.