MEREWETHER’s Lingard Private Hospital is set to embark on another multi-million dollar expansion to keep pace with burgeoning demand for healthcare services in the inner city.
Plans have gone before Newcastle City Council for the $15.2 million redevelopment, that would see a two-storey building constructed at the hospital’s western end, housing an additional three operating theatres and 24 private rooms.
“We are delighted to announce this major new development and the additional capacity it will give us to support the rapidly growing Newcastle and Hunter community into the future,” Lingard Private Hospital CEO Karen Gallagher said.
She said Healthe Care had already invested more than $35 million in upgrades to the hospital since it acquired the site ten years ago.
“This project will take that total to well over $50 million and it will accompany a major investment in technology to be announced in the coming weeks,” she said.
The proposal is a scaled-back version of an incarnation lodged with council in December last year.
The planned 15.4 metre, three-storey building was more than 50% over the 10 metre height limit for the area, sparking outcry from residents who complained it would have an “unacceptable impact” on surrounding properties.
The revised plans for a two-storey building will still be one metre over the height limit due to a roof-top plant screen.
If approved, the expansion will increase staff numbers from 101 to 114, and will also include the partial refurbishment of the existing operating theatres, amenities and the administration block.
It would lift the number of hospital beds to 145 and operating theatres to 10.
An on-site car park would be lost but the hospital has proposed constructing a new car park off Lingard Street, meaning the overall numbers of parks would increase from 78 to 105.
An assessment found there was enough capacity in the surrounding road network to absorb a “marginal increase” in traffic movements.
The hospital dismissed privacy concerns raised by neighbours, finding there were “no direct views” from within the new building into the living areas of residents.
The land is undermined and the proposal will go to the Mine Subsidence Board for consideration.
The project is due for completion in July 2017.