The remediation of the Mullumbimby Hospital site is almost finished with all work scheduled to be completed by the end of September.
Guided by the work of the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group (MHSPRG), Council’s attention is now turning to planning for the future of the hospital site which will be a mix of housing to address local community needs, community areas and green space.
Echelon Planning, a national leader in developing innovative concepts and plans for residential and community spaces, is now looking at a range of housing options and how they might be adapted for the Mullumbimby Hospital site.
Rob Van Iersel, Council’s Major Projects Planner, said this initial stage will look at how to provide innovative housing that meets local needs, what sort of housing that will be, and how people can get access to it.
“The recommendations of the MHSPRG, which spent 12 months deliberating on what the future of hospital site might look like, are at the core of this project,” Mr Van Iersel said.
“Central to the MHSPRG recommendations is turning the hospital site into a place that offers innovative housing options to the community as well as community services and meeting places that reflect the spirit and character of the Mullumbimby community.
“When we have some models, concepts and ideas from Echelon Planning we will then start looking at how this might physically sit on the site,” he said.
“By the end of this year we will have a much clearer idea of what the hospital site might look like and the development will fit in with the ideas and aspirations of the Mullumbimby community,” Mr Van Iersel said.
“We know there is a strong sense of ownership of the hospital site and our promise to the community is that we will keep you informed and provide opportunities to engage as the project progresses,” he said.
Council is guided by the recommendations of the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group
The MHSPRG was formed in 2017 with membership made up of individuals with a strong interest in the community as well as representatives from organisations including the Mullumbimby Residents Association, Mullumbimby Hospital Action Group, Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Shores Community Association, Brunswick Heads Progress Association, Creative Mullumbimby and Mullumbimby District Neighbourhood Centre.
The MHSPRG worked with Council staff for 12 months to consider the best outcomes for the future use of the site for the Brunswick Valley community, Council and other stakeholders.
The MHSPRG gave its recommendations to Council in November 2018 and Council adopted them unchanged. The recommendations were:
- A multipurpose facility that is designed to allow multiple uses for people of all ages and income levels. The facility would include space(s) for consultation and, potentially, for work, education, gathering, recreation, and a café, all intended to support residents and community, encourage social contact and develop with neighbours new relationships and opportunities.
- An integrated mix of residential development that provides, and continues to provide, in perpetuity, housing that meets the needs of community members, including older people and people with diverse household incomes.
- Exemplary, high quality design, especially architectural, landscape and urban design that fits the area + high levels of environmental sustainability.
- Council has a loan facility to fund the remediation.
- Once the site is remediated, Council will develop the site to repay the loan and associated costs.
- Any profit will be reinvested into social, environmental and civic outcomes on the site.
“It’s the first time Council has undertaken a project like this that is being guided by recommendations that were decided, debated and agreed upon unanimously by a group representing the different facets of our community,” Vanessa Adams, Director Corporate and Community Services, said.
“This was community engagement at its best with the members of the MHSPRG not only representing diverse interests but they also asked hundreds of local people to share their vision for the hospital site and gave people the chance to have their say in person, online and at community events and meetings,” Ms Adams said.
“Council is now working on turning that vision into a reality,” she said.