A retirement living project south of Sydney will be linked to a child care centre, university campus and health and care hub as part of a landmark $250 million proposal.
The University of Wollongong has partnered with retirement living operator Lendlease to lodge a development application to Wollongong City Council seeking approval for a masterplan concept for Phase 1 of its Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
The phase 1 masterplan concept is specifically for a 3.5-hectare area located at the southern end of the University’s Innovation Campus at Fairy Meadow.
When complete in 2024, the precinct will combine health research and teaching with patient-centred, multidisciplinary health facilities, early childhood education and independent housing for over 55s.
Lendlease Retirement Living Managing Director Nathan Cockerill welcomed the submission of the development application.
“We’re excited to be one step closer to realising our vision to provide independent living accommodation for over 55s, where they can reap the benefits of intergenerational living and having the best facilities and research taking place on their doorstep,” Mr Cockerill said.
“Social isolation is one of the biggest issues facing older Australians.
“Our residents will have the chance to interact with people of all ages who are visiting the precinct daily, whether for work, classes, healthcare or childcare or simply to enjoy the new precinct facilities and spaces.
“They’ll also enjoy the benefits of living in an environment that supports a healthy active lifestyle, close to beaches, recreational reserves and cycleways.”
The development application outlines a concept masterplan for Phase 1 including:
- An independent living retirement complex operated by Lendlease that will feature quality facilities for residents and approximately 220-240 apartments;
- A University-operated primary community health centre combining community health services with a significant focus on teaching and research activities in health-related disciplines;
- A residential aged care facility with approximately 120-144 beds;
- A child care centre with approximately 80-100 places;
- Community facilities including a wellness centre, café and community hub;
- Neighbourhood retail to service the precinct;
- A new large green open space, situated at the heart of the precinct and open to the whole community;
- Sustainability features such as solar energy and water-sensitive urban design.
Pending final planning approvals, construction of the precinct is proposed to commence in 2022 and the facilities are expected to be fully operational by 2024.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE welcomed this important step towards realising the Health and Wellbeing Precinct vision.
“The Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a truly transformative project that will focus on one of the great challenges of our time: an ageing population, and deliver innovative research and education solutions,” Professor Wellings said.
“By fostering collaboration across higher education, industry, health care providers, government and the community, this project will enable education, research and service delivery that benefits local residents and influences how health and aged care is delivered far beyond our region.
“Submitting the development application for Phase 1 is the first step in the delivery of this world-class, ground-breaking project that has been purposefully designed to promote intergenerational living and life-long learning.
“The development of this Precinct will deliver new jobs and new opportunities for economic development for Wollongong at a time where the City will be working to recover both socially and economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a terrific opportunity to shape the future economy of the city and capitalise on the demographic challenge facing the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and South Coast.”
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