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Council approves 24-bed medical ward

Central Coast Council has approved a 24-bed medical ward at Brisbane Waters Private Hospital, in a modification of its original consent for alterations and additions at the hospital.

A section 96 application was made in relation to the Joint Regional Planning Panel's earlier approval for the hospital's redevelopment at 9 Vidler Ave, Woy Woy.

The purpose of the changes was to convert the originally-approved single-storey medical consultant suites and gym building to a 24-bed medical ward, according to the Statement of Environmental Effects submitted with the application.

Council agreed to the amendments which would involve internal alterations and minor modification to the footprint of the originally-approved hospital additions.

The cost of the modified development, according to the statement, is $6.76 million, an increase of $594,000 over the original development.

Brisbane Waters Private Hospital currently accommodates 56 general hospital beds and 33 mental health beds; provides a spectrum of geriatric services backed by the support of an allied health team comprising dieticians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

It is also the only private mental health facility in the Central Coast region.

Additional hospital car parking is provided in both Vidler Ave and Dwyer Ave.

The original development consent was granted by the Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel in April 2016.

According to an assessment report prepared by the Council's Department of Environment and Planning: "It is proposed to change the ... consulting suites-gym within the extension to the hospital to a 24-bed medical ward.

"The change results in a decrease in floor area by five square metres, and an increase in staff at any time by three.

"Car parking provided does not change and there is excess car parking spaces serving the hospital," the Council assessment report said.

The original consent made way for the demolition of various existing single storey structures, driveways and hardstand within the area of the proposed hospital additions and minor internal demolition of part of the existing fit-out within the main hospital to provide additional ward beds.

The Panel also approved construction of a new single storey building at the northern end of the site to consolidate existing administrative offices and consulting suites already located within the hospital precint.

The original proposal incorporated ancillary facilities such as gym; diagnostic medical imaging; kiosk cafe; staff and patient amenities; and illuminated hospital signage.

Internal alterations to the fit-out of the existing hospital were also approved to provide 18 additional general hospital and eight mental health beds.

The car parking layout was reconfigured for greater efficiency and to provide one additional disability space.

A new hospital set down-pick up and pedestrian areas fronting Vidler Ave was planned; and site landscaping works.

The approved proposal resulted in an increase in the hospital's gross floor area by 1315 square metres, an increase in beds from 89 to 115, and an increase in peak staff numbers from 55 to 58.

The existing hospital is single and two-storey, and the new building to be constructed on the northern side is single storey.

A new courtyard within the approved building footprint has also been approved as part of the Section 96 application to provide natural light to the adjacent bedrooms of the proposed new ward and a centrally-located roof top mechanical plant screen (2100mm height).

An external stairway located at the southwest corner of the hospital remains as approved in the original consent and the bin store located adjacent to the northern site boundary remains unchanged.

According to a Statement of Environmental Effects submitted with the Section 96 application: "The proposed modified development as detailed ... is substantially the same development for which consent ... was originally granted.

"The internal refurbishment of the existing hospital approved under Consent 48744/2015 remains unchanged.

"The approved reception area, cafe and vehicle entry-exit arrangements associated with the new hospital addition remains as approved.

"The approved car parking arrangement and waste store located along the northern hospital boundary remains unchanged.

"The proposed modification to the physical form of the hospital addition approved ... is minor and actually results in a slight reduction of the gross floor area from that of the approved additions.

"The proposed change of the predominant use of the approved hospital addition from consulting suites to a hospital medical ward are both included in the definition of 'health services facility' contained in the dictionary to Gosford Local Environmental Plan 2014, that is they are the same category of use for the purposes of LEP 2014.," the statement said.

Consequently, the council considered it appropriate to approve the application for modification of development consent.

According to the Central Coast Council, no submissions were received to the proposed modifications.

"The proposed modifications will not result in adverse amenity impacts on the adjoining properties and the streetscape.

"The proposed development is substantially the same as the development that was originally granted consent.

"As such, in accordance with Section 80(1)(a) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Section 96(1A) for modification is recommended for approval," the Council's assessment report concluded.

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