Residents surrounding a proposed development on Aitken Road are concerned that Bowral is “giving up something that won’t ever come back.”
The leafy street in ‘Old’ Bowral features two properties built in the early part of the 20th century by renowned Bowral builder, Alf Stephens.
At least one of those properties, ‘Barkfold’, would be torn down to make way for a 108-bed residential care facility built by Lendlease and operated by Catholic Healthcare.
A spokesperson from Wingecarribee Shire Council said there had been at least 20 written submissions and numerous ‘over the counter’ queries regarding the project. Most submissions were concerned with the heritage value at risk of being lost and the size and scope of the development.
Resident Peter Stockel said the general feeling among neighbours was that the project was overdeveloped with no provision for gardens in current plans.
Catholic Healthcare general manager, property, Michael Lockwood said the size of the facility was on the “smaller end” for its kind and was preferable from an operational standpoint.
“We have done a demographic analysis of the area and we believe there is a demand for this type of facility,” he said.
Another resident, Nick Corbett said there had previously been requests for Aitken Road to be the subject of a heritage survey.
“The lack of current heritage listing should not be confused with the lack of heritage significance. We’re giving up something that won’t come back,” Mr Corbett said.
“Put simply, the aged care facility is a worthy cause in the wrong location.”
A council spokesperson said Aitken Road was not in a heritage conservation area nor was ‘Barkfold’ an “item of heritage”, therefore “there is no current requirement to undertake a heritage survey.”
The estimated cost of the development is in excess of $30 million. Subsequently, the project will be referred to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for determination in March next year.
It is understood that Lendlease have acquired neighbouring properties on Aitken Road for potential development in the future.
At present, 25-41 Aitken Road is owned by the company, however, the development proposal is limited to 39-41 Aitken Road.
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