Plans to redevelop a Camperdown aged care home with new cafe, gym and salon facilities is expected to cost $29 million.
Spiire Australia Pty Ltd - on behalf of the Victorian Health Building Authority - has lodged an application with Corangamite Shire Council to demolish then re-construct Merindah Lodge.
The proposed 36-resident aged care facility one kilometre south-west from the town centre will span two storeys, have a total building height of 9.65 metres and is expected to cost $28.8 million.
Operator South West Healthcare's executive director of redevelopment and infrastructure Jamie Brennan told The Standard the 1976-built asset was in desperate need of an upgrade.
"Undersized rooms next to each other and people they don't know - that impacts on their privacy and dignity and also impacts on how staff can deliver care - we can't get lifters or hoists into rooms, or wheelchairs into rooms or en suites," he said.
While there would be no change to the number of rooms if the submission was approved, each would contain a bed, bathroom and a wardrobe as standard.
Those rooms would be divided into five 'households', four of which would have seven bedrooms while the remainder would have eight.
Each of the households would contain a kitchenette, dining and living area as well as a quiet sitting zone with a balcony.
The proposed seven-bedroom households would be connected as pairs by a conjoined main living area to encourage interaction between households.
The planning document states that would help to avoid the creation of an 'institutionalised' layout.
The proposal also includes plans to construct a café or kiosk, gym, craft room and a salon which would be available for staff, residents and visitors between 7am-7pm. The amenities would have to be managed by South West Healthcare.
Staff facilities would include administration areas, a reception desk and staff room in addition to back-of-house provisions including a laundry, kitchen, pantry and waste storage area.
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The development also proposes accessible outdoor communal spaces and a balcony or terrace (reflection garden) would be provided for residents on the upper floor.
The planning documents note none of the existing on-site car parking or access provisions would be removed if it was to go ahead.
It states the development would see two additional on-site car parking spaces and one drop-off point provided.
However, due to proposed changes to the crossovers, there would be a net loss of three on-street spaces (four spaces removed and one gained). As such, the proposed development would see no net change in parking supply.
The planning assessment states the proposed layout - including car parking spaces - would generally benefit the community.
It said the development would also provide for the existing and future need for aged care dwellings within the Camperdown and greater Corangamite Shire area, while the materials and design chosen would be consistent with that of the existing Camperdown Hospital building.
Members of the community have until September 30 to submit a written objection before council makes a decision on the application.
Construction on the proposed aged care facility is expected to be completed by early 2025.
SWH chief executive officer Craig Fraser said he was excited to see the proposal get underway.
"We really want this to be a comfortable and beautiful home for our residents that they, and we, can be proud of," he said.
"We can't wait to deliver this first-class facility to our Camperdown community."
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