OBJECTORS have until Friday 15 May to voice their opposition to the Ryman Healthcare application for a multi-storey residential aged care development in Kunyung Road, Mount Eliza.
A sign nailed to a post at 60-70 Kunyung Road outlines the permit application which include plans for six four-storey buildings, two four-storey wings attached to the existing mansion, three three-storey buildings, a chapel and 362 car spaces.
The buildings will house 272 apartments, including 55 assisted living units and 217 independent living units, and 124 aged care beds. Up to 400 people will call the site home.
Plans for the $80 million development next door to the 800-student Kunyung Primary School were lodged with Mornington Peninsula Shire on 25 November.
In February, the shire asked Planning Minister Richard Wynne to amend the planning scheme and rezone the Kunyung Road site green wedge, which would preclude developments of the type planned by Ryman.
Those opposed will be hoping Mr Wynne approves the request soon – before the application goes before a council planning committee – so the council will have grounds for refusal that cannot be overturned by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Ryman paid $40 million for the 8.9 hectare former Melbourne Business School site which is within a special use zone.
Mornington MP David Morris said he wrote to Mount Eliza residents outlining his opposition to the project. “If the community doesn’t come out hard against this it will happen,” he said.
“It would have a significant impact on the scale and character of both Mount Eliza itself and particularly on the green break between Mount Eliza and Mornington.
“The scale of the proposed development is significant by metropolitan standards, and particularly so by Mornington Peninsula standards.”
Mount Eliza social media sites lit up in protest last week with posts slamming the high-density development proposed for land intended as part of the green wedge and sitting outside the urban growth boundary. They cited the removal of 270 trees, loss of native habitat, traffic congestion compounded by school traffic, industrial noise and dust during the building stages, and damage to beaches caused by inadequate storm water retention.
Mount Eliza resident and former Mornington Peninsula councillor Leigh Eustace said: “This application is a gross over-development of the site.”
He said most of the vegetation will be removed, with existing trees left only around the heritage listed gatehouse, along the front boundary and side boundary abutting the former Ansett land.
New Zealand-owned Ryman held a series of residents’ open days since buying the site in 2016 and is believed to have scaled back its plans to align with less-than-expected demand. “We’ve been talking to the community for some time and we’ve held open days to get feedback on our plans prior to them going to council for approval,” a Ryman spokesman told the New Zealand Herald in March last year:
“After consulting with a number of groups, including our immediate neighbours, we redesigned the original scheme and scaled back the buildings. One apartment block has been removed … and [the buildings] are now set back further from the foreshore.
“We’re still working on what else we can do to address their concerns before we apply for approval. It’s a beautiful site and we want to build a village the community is happy with, and one that will meet a need for quality retirement living options and care on the Mornington Peninsula.”
Ryman could reap huge rewards from the project, if figures from other, nearby aged care homes are taken as a guide. Assuming refundable accommodation deposits of $500,000 each for the 124 care beds and 55 serviced apartments, and an average of $1 million for each apartment, equals $89.5 million. Adding the 217 independent living units at $1 million each makes a total of $306 million.
The land cost $40 million and the development is expected to cost $80 million, a difference of $186 million.
The daily service fee, charged to residents, and kept by the company, would vary depending on the various accommodation options.