THE rezoning of Nancarrow Park to accommodate the future development of a transitional care facility whilst retaining community parkland has been approved.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy approved a request earlier this month allowing Gannawarra Shire Council to rezone the property, located behind Kerang District Health’s Burgoyne Street headquarters.
The health service has been lobbying for the rezoning of the community reserve for the past seven years with plans to develop a transitional living facility for the district’s ageing population.
The shire asked My Guy in February to implement an investigation into the rezoning proposal.
An independent two-member panel, appointed by Mr Guy, spent one day in May hearing from resident and the health service regarding the rezoning of the former quarry site, bordered by Shadforth Street, the hospital and the Kerang to Swan Hill railway line, to accommodate the transitional living facility.
The panel announced in July its recommendation to support the plan, with the recommendation that up to 0.3 hectares of the north-western end of the park be retained for recreational purposes.
The panel also recommended Kerang District Health, in consultation with shire staff, redesign the aged care facility focusing on aspects such as improved solar orientation, reduced car parking and a smaller more efficient common area containing driveways, access ways, pathways and open space.
Close to 400 community responses were received by the shire during the mandatory public comment period, with 347 submissions supporting the rezoning.
Opponents of the plan focused on the community benefits of the park, as well as issues relating to traffic, drainage and site contamination.
“It will be interesting to see what happens next,” shire planning manager, David Pietsch said.
“The project is now in the hands of the hospital.”
It is anticipated the health service will seek a planning permit for the project during the second half of 2013.
“I imagine the board of management will be keen to finish the current capital project before moving onto another one,” Kerang District Health chief executive officer, Robert Jarman said.
“The current capital development project took two to three years of planning, and believe a similar time will be needed.”
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