Sydney’s Northern Beaches Mayor stipulates where retirement homes will be built

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Michael Regan, the Mayor of Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council, said all seniors living development need to be built close to town centres.

The strategy mirrors an increasing number of councils that are making retirement community and aged care developments prohibitively difficult and expensive – such as Hornsby Council in Sydney and Ryman’s fight on the Mornington Peninsula.

“If we do this, we will apply to get an exemption from the state planning rules so we don’t have to continue to consider proposals that are not in keeping with the character of our neighbourhoods,” he said, in a clear warning to developers of seniors living.

Mr Regan was commenting after NSW Government’s planning authorities rejected plans for retirement villages and aged care developments, including a 54-unit seniors’ housing development at Terrey Hills, (pictured right); a $5.5m unit block for seniors at Seaforth and an $18 million expansion of an aged care and independent living complex at Allambie Heights was withdrawn.

Mr Regan, while admitting there is demand for affordable seniors living in his council area, which has a population of 266,000 and stretches from Manly to Palm Beach, he said he could not support “inappropriate” developments that do not fit in with their neighbourhoods, or were too far away from bus stops and the shops.

As part of its proposed new planning rules for the Northern Beaches Council area — and its recently adopted official Housing Strategy — the council wants all seniors living to be close to town centres.

Mr Regan said that the council proposed in its Housing Strategy, and as part of its Local Environmental discussion paper, to limit seniors living developments to close to town centres