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NSW Government planning for more housing for seniors

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NSW Government planning for more housing for seniors

October 2007

The Iemma Government has finalised new planning regulations to help provide more housing for the ageing population – with the number of people aged 55 years and over expected to reach 2.6 million by 2028.

Planning Minister Frank Sartor made the announcement while inspecting the site of a proposed new “vertical village” development at Green Square.

The Anglican Retirement Villages project could deliver Sydney’s first apartment blocks specifically designed for seniors.

He was joined by Minister for Ageing and Disability Services and Member for Heffron Kristina Keneally at the site, which is owned by Government developer Landcom.

“The Government is planning for the ageing population – helping to provide appropriate accommodation which is close to services,” Mr Sartor said.

“At the same time, we want to protect communities from excessive development and ensure that proposed seniors living developments are compatible with the local area.

“We are expecting nearly one-third of the population to be aged 55 years and over within the next 20 years.

“This State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) will strike the balance between the need for seniors’ living developments and the need to make sure they are strategically located and well-designed.”

A temporary moratorium was placed on seniors living developments on rural land adjoining urban land in December 2005.

Under the new policy gazetted today, new seniors living proposals on this land will need to meet a strict test of compatibility with surrounding areas before a development application can be lodged.

Developers on these sites must also clearly establish that their proposal is for bona fide aged-care accommodation, or for people with a disability.

This could include providing a residential care facility or nursing home as part of the development.

The SEPP will also permit seniors living developments on land which is owned by clubs.

“Following public consultation, we have strengthened provisions to ensure the relationship between the proposed development and any gambling facilities in the club is carefully managed,” Mr Sartor said.

The SEPP now requires an appropriate protocol to be put in place ‘to minimise harm associated with the misuse and abuse of gambling activities by residents of the proposed development’.

Anglican Retirement Villages seniors living development, Green Square Minister Keneally said the development proposed at Green Square would be a first for Sydney – a “vertical village” of seniors’ living accommodation up to 14-storeys high.

Anglican Retirement Villages is planning the “vertical village” on a one-hectare Landcom site at Victoria Park, Zetland.

“This concept is a creative approach to providing accommodation for seniors which is close to services and transport,” Ms Keneally said.

“I am pleased that the Government is involved in this proposal through the Victoria Park site which is owned and masterplanned by Landcom.”

Anglican Retirement Villages is planning to seek approval for 180 independent living suites and a 120-bed residential care facility.

The company has indicated the proposal would be likely to include two low-rise facilities and a 14-storey tower.

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