More Aged Care Living Where It is Needed

Estia Health is one of Australia’s largest aged care providers, operating 17 residential aged care facilities in South Australia for more than 1300 residents.

Burnside Council recently approved the redevelopment of Estia’s existing aged care accommodation at Toorak Gardens to become a 4-5 storey storey/118 bed facility.  The Council Assessment Panel complimented the design team on the quality and detail of the submission, stating that it was “an exemplary application”.

There were two key aspects to successfully gaining this planning approval – voluntary community engagement and carefully considered design/planning analysis.

At URPS, we regularly engage with neighbours as a means of resolving some matters of design detail and to manage project risks.  In this instance we invited surrounding property owners/residents to an information session on a Saturday morning.  The proposed design was well received by neighbours who were appreciative of Estia’s consultative approach helping them to better understand the project.  The bigger win for the project team came with only one representation being lodged and then withdrawn following some further minor design amendments.

The somewhat antiquated Development Plan provisions also presented a challenge.  Some provisions called on new development to achieve a “village-like character and atmosphere”, while others referred to both a “village-like scale” as well as “landmark buildings” in the District Centre Zone.  In the absence of clearly composed policy guidance regarding what is “village-like scale” or a height limit, we were left to speculate as to the policy intention.

The desired character of development in the vicinity of the subject site and the types of existing or already authorised development nearby were important factors. In this regard, the proposed development provides a transition in scale from the 7-storey development approved nearby, the anticipated landmark building anticipated in the planning policy for adjoining land and one and two-storey development existing/envisaged in the Residential Zone to the north of the subject site.  It is also complementary to the scale and design features of the Burnside Town Hall diagonally opposite on Portrush Road.

Congratulations to Estia Health, Trice Project & Development Managers and PACT Architects for joining with us in another planning success.