Australia’s Victoria government has approved the proposed expansion of Coburg’s John Fawkner Hospital, as part of efforts to meet growing healthcare needs of the local community.
Announced by Victoria planning minister Richard Wynne, the $30m project was approved after an agreement was reached to modify expansion plans to meet community expectations.
Based on advice from an independent advisory committee, Wynne recommended additional conditions to mitigate traffic impacts, implement several improvements to proposed buildings to address heritage concerns and improve amenity impacts for neighbouring properties.
Wynne said: "We want to expand and improve healthcare services for all Victorians but this does not need to be at the expense of our communities.
"Good planning can ensure developments strengthen local neighbourhoods while delivering vital services to a growing population."
Brunswick member Jane Garrett added: "This is a win for the community because we are allowing local health services to expand while maintaining Coburg’s liveability.
"We have strong and enthusiastic communities here in the northern suburbs, who have put a lot of energy and enthusiasm into advocating for their neighbourhoods."
The expansion project will include the addition of 51 beds, two operating theatres, extra waiting areas, increased equipment storage areas and 70 more onsite parking spaces.
In 2012, Moreland Council rejected the development proposed by Australian private healthcare operator Healthscope. The expansion proposal was rejected in 2013 by Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, following resubmission of the application by the operator.
An independent advisory committee was appointed earlier this year to consider the proposal to expand the hospital.
John Fawkner Hospital, the largest private hospital in the northern suburbs, cared for more than 25,000 patients in 2014.