$11.9m expansion proposed for Abbotsford Private Hospital rejected by Metro West JDAP

Abbotsford Private Hospital. Photo: abbotsfordprivate.com.au
Abbotsford Private Hospital. Photo: abbotsfordprivate.com.au

AN APPLICATION for an $11.9m, six-storey addition to Abbotsford Private Hospital in West Leederville has been rejected.

The Metro West JDAP yesterday resolved to refuse the application which would have increased the number of beds by 48 and bring a total of 78 beds at the mental health care centre.

Reasons for refusal included the proposed development’s lack of adequate drop-off and pick-up facilities, potential for increased anti-social behaviour, as well as insufficient on-site parking.

JDAP members agreed in October 2018 to defer the application for 90 days so applicant, Healthe Care Australia, could come back with further information about parking management arrangements and social impacts.

Changes made to the proposed development over the 90-day period included a three car bay increase to accommodate 26 on-site car parking spaces, as well as a reduction in beds from 81 to 78.

However, concerns still loomed at Wednesday’s meeting despite the applicant’s best efforts to make changes and devise a Social Impact Statement (SIS) report and Parking Management Plan (PMP).

JDAP Deputy Presiding member Brian Curtis said key concerns from a planning point of view were the already existing parking issues in the area.

“There’s enough current evidence that there are already issues where people are parking and stopping on resident properties,” he said.

JDAP Presiding member Eugene Koltasz said more thought should have been put in by the applicant into planning a basement parking on-site.

St Leonards Avenue resident Sharron Falconer said she was concerned with the SIS report and its findings. “There are no on-the-ground observations, no interviews with community so there’s a superficiality with the results and statements,” she said.

“The SIS is long and glosses over genuine community concerns, has no substantive mitigation of the impacts notified by residents and does not satisfy the planning development regulations.”

West Leederville resident Julian Coyne, who lives directly opposite the hospital, said the increase in service of the facility would pose further social impacts to surrounding residential homes.

“We currently see drug dealers and people high on drugs around the facility – a voluntary facility as the gates are permeable,” he said.

Abbotsford Street home owner Adele Coyne said she had been “verbally abused by hospital staff and patients” over the years when telling them not to park on her property.

“I had to take time, and out of my own expense, to invest in wheel clamping for illegal parking,” she said.

Healthe Care Australia representative Mark Sweeny disagreed and said there had not been an issue of drug dealers around the site over a two-year period.

“We haven’t had one incident raised by council or police since working on this application – no concerns from staff regarding wheel clamping, and I’m not sure who they’re wheel clamping but it’s not our staff.”