No double trouble: private hospital now an even bigger operation

HEALTHY SIGNS: Plans for  a 104 bed private hospital are now before Department of Planning and Environment staff.
HEALTHY SIGNS: Plans for a 104 bed private hospital are now before Department of Planning and Environment staff.

THE size of a new private hospital proposed for Forest Road has doubled in a development application modification lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment.

The hospital is  part of a $200 million development that includes the construction of a motel, private hospital, residential, childcare and retail facilities on the land opposite Orange hospital at the former drive-in site.

Plans are on display at Orange Civic Centre until August 6. 

A spokesman for the developers of the site David Cherry of James Richmark said the staged development has the potential to employ up to 300 people.

He said while the modification application is still to be approved due to its size, it is anticipated at this stage the motel will be the first stage to be built.

“If everything goes according to plan we envisage that work could start early next year,” he said.

Mr Cherry said the motel for the complex will be  four-and-a-half star standard.

“But it will involve a range of accommodation options and will also include a restaurant and a 250 seat function room,” he said.

He said the motel is intended to be built incorporating a “step up” and “step down” concept where patients from the hospital can stay prior to admission and after discharge before returning home.

Mr Cherry said the inclusion of a childcare centre to service the needs of working parents in the hospital and surrounding areas is seen as an integral part of the new development along with a pharmacy as the Orange hospital has no pharmacy on site.

Mr Cherry said the site plans have been further developed since they were originally mooted by an Orange based consortium several years ago.

“They did a good job at the time but unfortunately the global financial crisis came at the wrong time for them and it brought things to a halt,” he said.

Mr Cherry said further plans for the staged development include retail shops including eateries, a newsagent and hairdresser.

He said there is also provision for spaces for specialist medical staff who spend some time working at the hospital and allied health services such as physiotherapy, and pathology are also options for the use of the some of the spaces.

The accommodation facility will provide residential living for visiting hospital staff and others in the community.