Council seeks comment on private hospital planning agreement
9 November 2017
Orange City Council is asking for community comment about a proposed agreement which covers financial contributions for work associated with the construction of a new private hospital.
The new private hospital project, on the former Orange drive-in site on Forest Road, includes :
- a six storey private hospital
- an 82 room medi-motel
- health facilities buildings for rehabilitation, pathology, medical imaging, chemist and medical suites
- future precincts for residential dwellings and or apartments incorporating short and medium term accommodation for hospital staff and students
- future community/child-care facilities
- separate buildings for ancillary retail activities (including but not limited to a florist newsagent, café/restaurant, hairdresser, shops, kiosks, takeaway food and drink premises)
- internal roads and car parking
- a 4-way, traffic lights, intersection on Forest Road.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION : Whenever a new housing subdivision or project is built, the developer makes a financial contribution towards the council's costs in building necessary infrastructure such as underground water and sewer lines.
These contributions are authorised under Section 64 (sewer & water) and Section 94 (community amenity, roads, parks etc) of local government legislation.The Council policy document which details these developer contributions in Orange is the Development Control Plan.
In the case of some major projects, such as the private hospital, the council can negotiate a 'Planning Agreement' (PA) with the developer which varies the size of these contributions. The proposed PA sets out the details of the final contributions. Once the PA is drafted, it is available for community comment before it is finally considered by the council.)
The draft Private Hospital Precinct Planning Agreement shows that the developer will contribute approx $7 million for necessary infrastructure work.
This includes :
- $2.2 million for the upgrade of Forest Rd and the building of a new intersection with traffic lights at the entrance to the private hospital and the Orange Health Service.
- $4.7 million for the extension to the council's water and sewer pipe network
The agreement also spells out that additional contributions worth $1.5 million, that would otherwise be required under Section 94 EPA Act, will not be paid to the Council.
This amount would normally have been be paid to cover the Section 94 (parks,roads, community amenity) costs associated with the residential precincts of the hospital.
A report to the November 7 council meeting suggests that because of the amount of other property development that's expected to occur in the area around the hospital, including the Shiralee housing estate and current DPI land holdings, there will be other sources of funding to provide this infrastructure in future years.
The report estimates that the $1.5 million that the council would forgo under this agreement, would amount to only 3.6% of the total revenue to come to the council from future development in this area.
The report finds that the employment and other community "benefits offered by the (private hospital) development justify the (financial) support for the proposal".
As well as the financial arrangements, the proposed PA :
- commits Orange City Council to completing the water, sewer and a Forest Road upgrade to allow the project to proceed and,
- sets deadlines for the completion of that work
MORE INFORMATION :
A printed copy of the draft PA document can also be inspected at the Orange Civic Centre, corner Byng Street and Lords Place.