Wollongong Private Hospital developers have been told to go back to the drawing board to fix “fundamental deficiencies” in their plans for an $18.5 million expansion.
Meeting at Wollongong council chambers on Tuesday, the Joint Regional Planning Panel agreed to defer their decision on a multi-storey addition to the Crown Street hospital, saying it may be able to be approved in the future with some major changes.
However, they issued a stern warning to developer AA Crown Holdings, saying it must be willing to change the plans so they could be approved.
Last week, the council released a scathing assessment of the expansion plans, saying it did not have enough car parks or public access ways and would ruin the streetscape, especially for neighbouring properties.
Their recommendation – that the plans be rejected in their current form – prompted AA Crown Holdings to lodge a preemptive appeal in the Land and Environment Court.
Panel members agreed with the council that parking at the private hospital was inadequate, and urged the developers to review “expensive” parking fees which were pushing patrons to use limited on street parking.
Panel member Alison McCabe called for a redesign of the streetscape facing Urunga Street which, in its current form, would leave residents of a neighbouring apartment block facing a five metre wall.
Panel chair Pam Allen said she did not “want any more excuses”, arguing it would be much quicker for the developers and council to work together than to get caught up in court.
At the same meeting, the developers were given unanimous permission to build a five-storey day surgery at the corner of Urunga Street and New Dapto Road.
In contrast to their comments about the hospital upgrade, panel members commended the way they had worked with the council to change their plans and achieve “design excellence”.