Bolton Clarke wants to turn decommissioned home into five-storey retirement village

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Bolton Clarke has lodged plans to build a five-storey retirement facility on the grounds of a decommissioned 1950s-era aged-care home in New Farm, 2km east of Brisbane’s CBD.

However, the height and bulk of the plans for what was formerly known as Treetops New Farm, has already led to nearly a year of community consultation and meetings with Brisbane City Council.

Plans lodged on 2 July show the existing three-storey facility, which catered to up to 88 residents, would be demolished and replaced with a five-storey “village”, containing 38 “independent living units”, split between two- and three-bedroom configurations.

The Sargent St New Farm subject site. Picture: Development.i/ Town Planning Alliance

A dwelling house on the site, protected under the Traditional building character overlay identified as Neighbourhood character, and also identified as a potential pre-1947 dwelling, would be repositioned, rotated and partially demolished.

Bolton Clarke originally hoped to put a six-storey building on the site, despite the maximum height allowable under the New Farm & Teneriffe Hill Code being only three storeys.

A pre-lodgement meeting with Brisbane City Council on 2 September 2 last year and an extensive round of community consultation, saw the plan limited to five-storeys.

During the pre-lodgement meeting, Brisbane City Council “acknowledged there is scope (for) additional height” where the development demonstrates certain features, including a “community and economic need” and “an appropriate height transition towards the side boundaries to reflect a compatible height and scale of buildings on adjoining sites”.

Artist’s render of the Sargent St elevation. Picture: Development.i/ Deicke Richards

In its application, Bolton Clarke said these requirements had been addressed.

“We know older people in New Farm want to remain within their community based on existing demand for in-home care,” said James Mantis, Bolton Clarke’s General Manager for Property Development and Asset Management.

“There are currently only 14 retirement living units in the local market, which were built in the 1960s, which means there is significant unmet demand.”

Subject to approval, Mr Mantis added Bolton Clarke is looking to move the first residents into the village in 2024, with construction commencing in 2022.