South Grafton resident Kerry Hughes looks over the site of a proposed development she and other residents are opposing on the golf course.
South Grafton resident Kerry Hughes looks over the site of a proposed development she and other residents are opposing on the golf course. Tim Howard

Aged care centre neighbours demand to be kept informed

NEIGHBOURS of a proposed 144-bed aged care home in South Grafton are disappointed they have not been kept informed of stages the proposed development.

Aged care home developer Signaturecare said it was close to securing consent for the aged care centre to be built on the former 10th and 11th holes of the Grafton District Golf Club course.

The club initially proposed to develop the land as one-acre blocks in line with the council's R5 zoning for that section of South Grafton.

But when the club submitted a proposal to rezone the land to allow for smaller lot sizes in the development, many neighbours objected.

These objections lessened when the club announced it was seeking to sign a deal with Signaturecare to build an aged care home on the land, but neighbours are still wary.

The resident who has become their spokeswoman, Kerry Hughes, said they were disappointed no-one contacted them about the visit by the Federal Aged Care Minister, Ken Wyatt, on Monday.

"The story in the paper said there were no neighbours protesting, that's because we knew nothing about it,” Mrs Hughes said.

Mrs Hughes said she had talked to Signaturecare officers soon after the deal was announced.

"They assured me neighbours would be kept informed of their plans,” Mrs Hughes said.

She said neighbours while happier with the aged care proposal than the golf club's original proposal, still had concerns.

"I would say about half the neighbours that protested are against the proposal,” she said.

"They have concerns about the setback from the road, fencing, the number of entrance and the positioning of car parking.”

Mrs Hughes said the development would need significant fencing if it was to protect residents from kangaroos, which could be lethal to elderly, frail people.

"You would need a significant fence to keep kangaroos out,” she said. "I wouldn't like to see it surrounded by a big Colorbond fence.

"Perhaps something more like the fence they put around the high schools could be used.”

Signaturecare CEO Graeme Croft apologised for not contacting the neighbours.

"We only knew about the minister's visit the Friday before it happened, so it didn't give us much time do anything.

"And really it was for the minister to announce funding for aged care.

"The planning process is only in the early stages, so there will be plenty of opportunities for consultations with the neighbours.”