Berkeley holistic hospital set for green light

NSW Planning has given in-principle support to plans to build a multimillion-dollar holistic hospital at Berkeley.

In a report to the Planning Assessment Commission, the department has recommended a scaled-back version of the proposal, originally costed at $383 million but now reduced to $287 million, be given concept approval for five years.

The hospital, to be known as Life City Wollongong, would feature a 320-bed hospital, holistic health facilities, childcare and independent seniors' living centres, serviced apartments for patients and 580 car parking spaces.

The facility is also tipped to include an outdoor holistic "course", incorporating yoga, reiki, laughter therapy, meditation auras and Pranic Healing.

Wollongong City Council last year raised concerns about parts of the proposed facility being built on environmentally sensitive land, while residents in nearby streets said they feared the impact of additional traffic on their quiet streets.

The proponent, Delbest Pty Ltd, agreed to reduce the overall size of the project and the gross floor area by 25 per cent; contain the buildings' footprint to within the residential zoning; and, significantly, reduce the amount of excavation required at the site.

Planning officials have also recommended that Delbest be required to submit several detailed reports and management plans before any final development approvals are issued, including addressing noise, earthworks, vegetation and geotechnical investigations.

Nine hectares of land containing the endangered Illawarra subtropical rainforest must also be set aside for conservation, the department said.

The proposal will be forwarded to the PAC for final consideration.

An artist's impression of the proposed 350-bed "holistic" hospital at Berkeley

An artist's impression of the proposed 350-bed "holistic" hospital at Berkeley