$8m private hospital approved, but needs road upgrade
A NEW $8 million private hospital next to Byron Central Hospital has been approved.
Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel chair Garry West said the panel, which met on Monday to hand down a decision on the Ewingsdale facility, was satisfied their concerns had been addressed.
"I think the key to us making the decision ... was that the applicant and council were able to put before us an agreed staging of the development," Mr West said.
He said this meant parts of the development could proceed before the intersection of Ewingsdale Rd and McGettigans Lane is upgraded.
The JRPP had asked the developer, Brunsmed Pty Ltd, to return to them with a plan of management and a staged application.
"We also asked council to consult with the applicant," Mr West said.
"When we arrived at (Monday's) meeting there was no staged plan."
But he said a consultation took place on Monday to resolve this issue.
He said a number of local residents were at the meeting.
"They clearly were concerned about the impact of that development on the intersection," Mr West said.
"They also made comment about the scale and height of the development.
"The applicant did (previously) reduce some elements of the proposal and also reduced the height of the proposal."
A Byron Shire Council spokeswoman said the development proceeding in two stages would "minimise the impacts" on the intersection.
Stage one limits consulting room numbers, employees, the number of accommodation units and hours of operation while the second stage will be delayed until the intersection is upgraded "to meet the required traffic standards".
Brunsmed Pty Ltd will have further discussions with the council to determine details of a voluntary planning agreement.
The spokeswoman said the JRPP consent would not commit the council to "a specific timeframe" for the intersection upgrade.
The development application was first lodged in June 2016.