Aged care bid set to go under

A COUNCIL planning report has recommended rejecting a proposal by a developer, wanting to build an aged care residential complex in a Tewantin flood plain, for the elderly to sit out any inundation by heading to the second storey of the McKinnon Dr complex.

Sundale Garden Village Nambour has spent the past five years trying to find a way to overcome the council's flooding and environmental concerns at a site illegally filled by a former occupant.

A senior council planner wants this week's general council meeting to refuse a preliminary approval for 180 independent living retirement units and an aged care facility with 60 beds.

Sundale wants the go-ahead for the first stage development, which includes 52 independent living retirement units, core facilities and the aged care facility.

The report states that in recent times there have been "significant rain events on the coast" exceeding the 1 in 100 year rainfall intensity.

"Therefore locating retirement units and aged care facilities in flood areas represents a significant risk to elderly residents, which needs to be carefully assessed," the planner states.

To meet this risk the applicant proposes that residents be transferred to the second storey, "but this does not address the overall outcomes of the Noosa Plan code".

Under the Noosa Plan the site is deemed for use as rural settlement generally suitable for only a single dwelling house.

"In order to gain approval, where there is a conflict with the planning scheme, the Integrated Planning Act 1997 requires that there must be sufficient grounds in the public interest to justify the conflict," the report to council states.

"The applicant submits there is a recognised need for aged care beds in the Noosa area and has demonstrated that the co-establishment of an aged care facility with independent living retirement units is necessary for the aged care facility to viably function.

"Notwithstanding this, the site is not considered suitable for the development as it is significantly constrained by flooding and biodiversity values, which the applicant has not satisfactorily addressed."

The report claims the site is susceptible to major flooding, with 0-1.35 metres of fill required to achieve flood immunity for a Q100 flood event.

"These Noosa Plan code outcomes ought to be considered in view of the recent recommendations of the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry."

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