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$240m seniors housing development slated for Charlestown

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A $240 million seniors and disability housing development in Charlestown has been given the “green light” by the NSW Government.

The multi-building project – between Dudley Road, James Street and Trial Street – will deliver 120 residential aged care bedrooms, 203 independent living units and 133 domestic apartments for other members of the community, as well as supporting 600 construction and 150 operational jobs.

It includes community facilities for socialising, a hair salon, pool, clubhouse, landscaped rooftop with BBQ area, outdoor seating and dining, cafe, walking paths, landscaped grounds and gardens and chapel/multi-faith space.

Visiting rooms for GPs and allied health practitioners, and a wellness centre are also included in the plans.

It’s the first venture of its kind for seniors and people of all abilities to be approved under the new State Significant Development (SSD) pathway.

Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison welcomed the announcement.

“This development offers state-of-the-art, accessible homes for residents close to key amenities including public transport, shops and health services in this major commercial centre,” she said.

“Housing supply remains a top priority for the government.

“We’ll continue to support the growth and delivery of more homes across the Hunter so more people can live in places they love, close to family and friends.”

It’s understood Lake Macquarie boasts a higher proportion of residents over the age of 50.

And, forecasts show those aged 80 or older will see the largest increase in the LGA by 2041.

The approval follows changes to the Housing SEPP (State Environmental Planning Policy) earlier this year to allow more opportunities to develop seniors and all abilities housing.

It’s being led by the Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW), which runs nearby care and retirement living facilities in Belmont North, Singleton, Salamander Bay and Hamlyn Terrace.

“This development will provide a welcome boost to seniors’ housing supply in Lake Macquarie,” Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said.

“Elderly residents need a greater variety of places to live including supported accommodation.

“We’re enabling this through more diverse options for our growing population with safe and modern housing for seniors, and a sense of community and connection among locals.”

Uniting director of property and housing Simon Furness said he was “delighted” the NSW Government had recognised the need to fast-track the development under its SSDA process.

“Recognising the demand and ongoing need for quality retirement living options, Uniting is steadfast in our plans to double the number of independent living units over the next 10 years to about 6,000, primarily driven by the building of new retirement villages,” he added.

Work on the tender process will begin in early 2024, with the aim being to appoint the builder later in the year.

Construction is expected to start in early 2025.

For further information, visit the NSW Planning Portal

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