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School, health hub build: ‘A promising start to 2023’

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A new primary school for children on the autism spectrum and a $30 million health services hub are two of the largest projects taking shape in Lake Macquarie in 2023. 

The Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) facility is expected to cost $6.9 million to build and will be located on the site of a former nursing home on Harrisons Lane at Cardiff Heights. 

Location of development of Aspect Education building. Photo: Google Maps

The land, which is more than 6500m2, was sold to developers in September 2021 for more than $3.3 million. 

The school will offer tailored learning for up to 80 children aged from kindergarten to Year 6, with a high ratio of teachers to students in each class. 

Aspect Education national director Maryanne Gosling says the demand is evident, with currently more than 5,500 youngsters in the region on the autism spectrum.  

“We’re extremely excited to have secured this site in Cardiff Heights,” she says. 

“With the growing population, the community, parents and carers have told us there is a need to provide more autism-specific schools.” 

A former nursing home on Harrisons Lane, Cardiff Heights, the site of the development of a new school for children with autism.

A separate development application exists for a four-storey, $29.8 million medical centre on the corner of Pacific Highway and Smith Street in Charlestown. 

Developer GPV Property has proposed a new hub that would include a GP clinic, a pharmacy, a 23-bed private hospital or day clinic and onsite parking. 

It follows the December 13, 2022 news of a major expansion of Lake Macquarie Private Hospital within the neighbouring suburb of Gateshead. 

Lake Macquarie City Council director development planning and regulation David Antcliff says the recent high-value development applications reflect investors growing confidence in the city. 

“We’re talking about new facilities and infrastructure that will improve services for our growing population,” he explains. 

“These are considered regionally significant developments, so they’re assessed by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel.  

“It’s a promising start to 2023.” 

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