Residents up in arms over ‘invasion’ plans

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BALNARRING residents describe an aged care home planned for their street as “an invasion”.

Janet Eyles, who hosted a residents’ meeting last week, said they believed the building of an Arcare 75-bed aged care home in Brooksby Square was “quite unsuitable for our street as it is a quiet residential area”.

She said she and her husband Phil had door-knocked the 30 homes in the street and found all residents “overwhelmingly disapproved” of the proposal.

“One question that came up was why the main entrance was in Brooksby Square? The main entrance should be in Balnarring Road,” she said.

Plans also show three driveways and five visitor spaces in the street, as well as an underground entry and a loading ramp.

“During my talks with neighbours I also discovered that this proposal, although not yet approved by [Mornington Peninsula Shire] council, has been referred to as being a ‘done deal’ by a building company,” she said. “Apparently they have known of this for at least six months.

“Every neighbour I spoke to was angry, shocked and in disbelief as we cannot believe this is likely to happen. We have not been sent the official letter from council as yet, but it seems as if there has been a deal done with the council to get it through.”

Cr David Gill, who attended the meeting, said he had “put the issue of a ‘done deal’ to rest”.

“The building company has no control over this,” he said. “The council and VCAT are in control.

“The developer will have to go through an exacting process before anything is finalised. The permit process will probably go into the New Year. This is the start of it.”

Cr Gill said aged care was a “permitted use” in residential areas under state government legislation, subject to permit and conditions approvals.

He said he understood residents’ concerns regarding parking, traffic, exit and entry points and potential loss of privacy. “This [would be] a major reshaping of their street,” he said.

“All these issues would have to be worked through.”

The shire’s planning services executive manager David Bergin said his department was in the preliminary stages of assessing a planning application for the proposed development, which is listed as being at 51 Balnarring Road, Balnarring.

“The application is to develop the land for a residential aged care facility and associated works. It is anticipated that this application will be advertised in the next few weeks,” Mr Bergin said.

Arcare Balnarring CEO Colin Singh said the application for was “lodged with a full set of plans, traffic impact assessment, arboricultural assessment, landscape plan, planning report and waste management plan”.

“We’ve been in close contact with council throughout this process, and their preliminary assessment was that all required information had been submitted to allow the proposal to progress to the next stage,” he said.

“The information contained in our application will be available to the public during advertising which should happen shortly at council’s discretion.”

He said anyone wishing to “get an understanding of the key facts of the proposal” could call 1300 272 273 or attend an upcoming community meeting.

Mr Singh said Arcare was a “family owned aged care provider with a reputation for building and operating 5-star aged care residences in Victoria, NSW and Queensland”.

“We’re excited at the opportunity to support older Australians on the Mornington Peninsula so they can remain in their local community and not have to move too far from home should they require full-time support in a premium residential aged-care setting.”

First published in the Western Port News – 23 October 2018

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