THE installation of an illuminated advertising sign out front of the Arcare Aged Care home being built at Balnarring is upsetting nearby residents.
The Arcare building, near the corner of Brooksby Square and Balnarring Road, is due to open towards the end of this year.
The aged care provider won the VCAT fight to build the 75-bed facility in 2019 despite residents being concerned about tree loss, high traffic flows, noise associated with changes to workers’ shifts, and service and garbage truck vehicles arriving at all hours from the commercial facility running 24 hours a day. (“Parking protest over care centre’s plans” The News 5/2/19).
The company advised this week that the final positioning of the illuminated sign will be discussed with council.
Arcare CEO Colin Singh said it was planning to “erect minimal signage at its new Balnarring site and the signage will be much reduced in comparison to its urban sites”.
“Signage is necessary to ensure the safe flow of traffic and to enable people to easily locate the residence,” he said.
“Arcare will continue to engage with the local community in the final stages of the construction of its Balnarring residence.”
But neighbour Janet Eyles summed up the feelings of those opposed to the sign when she said unwanted light was “already streaming from the huge glass windows and other areas of the building”.
“These signs will only add impact to the fact that this development does not fit into the residential ‘feel’ of the street or the community as a whole,” she said.
“We live directly opposite the … construction site and we have already suffered a great deal from noise and inconvenience. We do not want illuminated signs that will cause unwanted advertising and unwanted light coming from this site.
“Any signage should be small and softly illuminated, as the building itself is so large it is unmistakable and would need little advertising. Light will already be emitted from the huge glass windows facing directly onto our property so advertising with more lighting is definitely not wanted.”
Her comments were supported by a groundswell of opposition from the Balnarring Residents Group on Facebook where 22 residents voiced their dismay and opposition to the sign.
Barry Greer said: “Aged care facilities do not deal with passing trade. Residents are referred by hospitals, doctors and ACAT providers. The signs, as proposed, will therefore serve little or no purpose.”
Diane Leitch said: “This is a residential area. I do not think it is fair to place illuminated signage on top of everything else. I think it is very easy to find in the area.”
Heather Chapman said: “Local and surrounding residents all know it is here. Advertising in this grand manner is for out-of-towners passing through and they are unlikely to put their loved ones in such a remote location.”
Yvette van der Vegt Gordon said: “Signage can be seen easily without lighting as it is the only large building in the area. Please allow our community to see this facility as a positive and not another overreach by big business. No to illuminated lights.”
Rusty Johnson said: “We live in Balnarring because we wish to be away from the lights and sounds of large towns. Illuminated signs … are not needed as they are not selling products to sparse night time passing traffic. Totally out of context with our unique small seaside rural community. It’s not the Balnarring way.”
Natasha Lucas said: “No illuminated signs for our little village please. As stated by others it is out of character for Balnarring, no need to advertise an aged care home, the building is already too large and imposing for the streetscape in the area, local residents and wildlife will be impacted by more light pollution. Just no.”