Shellharbour's UnitingCare complex signed off

UnitingCare Ageing's plans for a $119 million seniors housing complex in the Shellharbour City centre have been given the final seal of approval by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

The development will be built on a 4.2-hectare site in Wattle Road, neighbouring the redeveloped Stockland Shellharbour.

It will include 10 separate buildings that will contain 352 apartments, a 1121-square metre church, a function hall, men's shed and commercial and retail space.

The buildings are configured around a central pedestrian and cycle path, and a village green.

The apartments vary in size from one bedroom to three bedroom and are described as "self-sufficient" dwellings providing the "lowest level of care".

Last May, Shellharbour City Council planners recommended that the panel approve the staged development, and there were no objections to the project.

However, there were some minor issues outstanding at the time, including access constraints to some neighbouring Housing NSW properties and aesthetics of the design.

On Monday, the southern JRPP granted formal approval via an "electronic determination".

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she was comfortable that the project was a good outcome for the site and Shellharbour City would benefit from the additional aged-care facilities.

UnitingCare Ageing bought the site from Landcom for $8.9 million in 2009.

The site falls within precinct M in Shellharbour council's Shellharbour City Centre Masterplan, and has long been identified for residential development.

UnitingCare Ageing director Steve Teulan said the development would be a big step forward for care and employment in the area, although the timeframe for the development was yet to be determined.

The company was proud that its most recent residential facility, Elanora, had set a high benchmark for aged care and building design, Mr Teulan said.

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