THE Satterley Group has come under fire for backtracking on a condition to provide aged care accommodation as part of its new 34ha Forrestfield development, The Hales.
City of Kalamunda chief executive Rhonda Hardy said the City was disappointed Satterley had requested the WA Planning Commission remove the aged care component from its structure plan.
Ms Hardy said the City had recommended the WAPC approve the plan on the proviso the parcel of land was used for residential aged care.
“In 2016 City staff met with Satterley, who requested increased residential density for the site (up to R60),” she said.
“The proposal for an average of 28 dwellings per site hectare is greater than the minimum recommended under Liveable Neighbourhoods requirement of 22 dwellings per site hectare.
“The City agreed to this provided that the 1.8ha future development site be provided for aged care.”
A Satterley Group spokeswoman said while it had advised the development site was a sufficient size to accommodate an aged care facility, it never committed to develop the site for that purpose.
“It was made clear to the City that Satterley could not commit to developing an aged care site as Satterley’s research showed there was insufficient demand,” she said.
“Satterley commissioned specialist consultants to assess the suitability of the site for an aged care facility who concluded that the current and planned provisions for aged care accommodation is sufficient to meet forecast demand in the area.
“The consultants recommended that rather than focusing on aged care facilities, the Hales is better suited for seniors downsizing.
“The WAPC had regard to the consultant’s report in removing the aged care requirement from the structure plan.”
Lesmurdie aged care advocate Iris Jones said she was bitterly disappointed Satterley had ignored the City’s request.
“This is in clear contradiction of council’s wishes and it was certainly in clear contradiction of the Kalamunda Aged Care Committee’s plea to Satterley for an aged care component in their proposal,” she said.
Mrs Jones said if developers wanted to be seen as good corporate citizens they had a role to play in acknowledging the City’s urgent need for aged care.
“We cannot, on the one hand, be seriously lobbying state and federal governments to access land for us and earmark it for aged care, while on the other hand we stand by silently when land developers chose to ignore the social needs in our community,” she said.
“Any company which wishes to earn a dollar here by creating homes for families needs to respect that and to include the elderly and infirm as part of the equation.
“One would have thought that a group of Satterley’s national reputation would see the opportunity to fulfil some of community needs on their site.”
Satterley said it was willing to enter into negotiations to facilitate the sale of the proposed site to the City on commercially acceptable terms.
“Satterley acknowledges that there is insufficient supply of aged care in Kalamunda, however this is not due to an insufficient number of aged care sites rather the commercial viability of such operations,” she said.
“Satterley has had discussions with aged care developers regarding the site and there has been limited interest to date.
“If there is not sufficient demand for aged care then Satterley will pursue other alternatives in accordance with the land’s zoning.”
At its ordinary council meeting on February 27, councillors passed a motion for Ms Hardy to ‘express regret’ to Satterley that there was no provision made within the development structure plan for aged care accommodation.