Regionally significant investment is booming in Lake Macquarie despite Australia’s economic downturn, with a new primary school for children on the autism spectrum and a $30 million health services hub among the major projects in the pipeline.
Lake Macquarie City Council Director Development Planning and Regulation David Antcliff said the recent influx of high-value development applications reflected the growing confidence investors and developers had in the city.
“We’re talking about new facilities and infrastructure that will improve services for our growing population,” he said.
“These are considered regionally significant developments, so they’re assessed by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel.”
Autism Spectrum Australia, also known as Aspect, is planning to build a new $6.9 million school on Harrisons Lane at Cardiff Heights, catering for up to 80 primary school-aged children.
The school, on a former nursing home site, would offer tailored learning for children from kindergarten to Year 6, with a high ratio of teachers to students.
Aspect Education National Director Maryanne Gosling said Lake Macquarie and the broader Hunter Region were home to more than 5500 children on the autism spectrum.
“We’re extremely excited to have secured this site in Cardiff Heights,” she said.
“With the growing population, the community, parents and carers have told us there is a need to provide more autism-specific schools.”
A separate development application outlines a four-storey, $29.8 million medical centre on a long-dormant site in Charlestown, on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Smith Street.
Developer GPV Property has proposed a new hub that would include a GP clinic, a pharmacy, a 23-bed private hospital or day clinic and onsite parking.
The development would further cement the adjoining suburbs of Charlestown/Gateshead as one of the region’s focal points for health care, with plans released last month for a major expansion of Lake Macquarie Private Hospital and a range of medical services already in place in Charlestown.
Mr Antcliff said a number of other regionally significant Lake Mac developments were also before the Regional Planning Panel.
“It’s a promising start to 2023, and we’re confident our city will continue to grow and thrive,” he said.
“We’re focused on supporting infrastructure and services where they are needed most.”
Go to lakemac.com.au