The new proposal scraps much of the contentious aspects of an original masterplan including more than 60 townhouses – and, according to CEO John Fendyk, shows the organisation has listened to the community and has heard its concerns about over-development of the site.
“The community told us that they weren’t ready for a major development and they wanted to keep the existing medical centre.
"We’ve listened to that feedback and have now developed a proposal that we believe is in line with the community’s wishes but also meets the organisation’s needs to renovate an ageing Community Health Centre complex,” Mr Fendyk said.
The initial proposal included 66 double-storey units, more than 200 undergound car parks, a swimming pool and café.
Its price tag was put at more than $7 million.
“When we put the draft Masterplan out for public consultation we had a longer term vision in mind, but the community asked us to separate the projects, so that’s what we’ve done.
“We are not progressing the idea of the Independent living units, pool, café etcetera at this stage. Our focus is on building an updated and modern Community Health Centre that can meet the future needs of the community.”
A planning application for the development has been submitted to Council. It includes clinical office, medical reception, community health and dental spaces.
A new two storey wing accommodate Community Nursing and other administration staff.
“Community feedback has been incorporated into these plans and we believe there is a balance between updating the existing buildings as well as new features to accommodate both service delivery and comfort for consumers.
“The cost of the redevelopment will be met with $3 million of committed funding from the Commonwealth and a similar contribution from Bellarine Community Health’s capital works fund,” Mr Fendyk said.
If approved, the renovation will be staged over several months to minimise interruptions to existing services. It is unclear when work might start.
■ A community information session will be held at the Community Health Centre from 5:00pm to 6:30pm on Thursday 11 August. Plans will also be on public display in the foyer.