Retirement village bid lodged with shire

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RYMAN Health Care has submitted plans for a proposed retirement village in Kunyung Road, Mt Eliza, with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council.

Seventeen documents outlining plans for 10 four-level buildings, including 55 serviced apartments and 124 aged care beds accommodating 500 people, were lodged on 25 November.

Ryman Health has been undertaking community consultation with Mt Eliza residents over the redevelopment of the site which is within a Special Use Zone (Schedule 2) and identified within a heritage overlay pursuant.

A proposal from the shire to rezone the site to green wedge is said to still be sitting on the desk of Planning Minister Richard Wynne. If approved there is less chance of the project going ahead.

Mt Eliza resident and former shire president Leigh Eustace said the number of buildings has been scaled back from 12 to 10, with the “place of worship” building being the 11th.

He said the plans showed nine new buildings would house 217 independent living units, and car parking had been reduced from 395 spaces to 362 alongside space for 20 bikes. All nine new buildings will have basement car parking.

“Most of the vegetation that currently exists will be removed with the proposal,” Mr Eustace said. “Trees will be maintained around the heritage listed gatehouse, along the front boundary and along the side boundary abutting the former Ansett land. No vegetation is shown facing the Chas Jacobson house.”

Council planners did not provide any images from the documents submitted with the application “as they consider that these plans will change once council carries out its preliminary assessment”, Mr Eustace said. “This application is a gross over-development of the site.”

Mornington MP David Morris said at a recent Briars Ward meeting attended by 40 people that the changes proposed by the revised plans were “little more than cosmetic”.

“One building has been removed, and the design tweaked, but this remains a plan for suburban style high density, multi-storey development outside the urban growth boundary.

“This piece of land was always intended to remain part of the urban break between Mornington and Mt Eliza. The owners must not be permitted to exploit a planning loophole to subvert the clear intent of successive councils to protect our peninsula landscape.”

Former Liberal candidate for Nepean Russell Joseph said: “The Ryman proposal is an overdevelopment of this historical conservation zone and the only green wedge land in Melbourne which abuts Port Phillip.

“A four-storey retirement village is entirely inappropriate for this site and as it sits outside the urban growth boundary and is contrary to the planning scheme.

“Our green wedge zone has been designated for a purpose – not just for developers and planning ministers to carve up at their whim.”

Ryman’s Michael Cummings said this time last year: “As a result of the recent engagement with neighbours we have removed one of the proposed apartment buildings and increased the building setback from the foreshore.

“The village, if approved, will provide Ryman’s ‘continuum of care’ model, which typically includes independent apartments, assisted living in serviced apartments, low care, high care, and specialist dementia care.

“Once fully built the village will be home to around 500 residents in 10 four-level buildings.”

First published in the Mornington News – 24 December 2019

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