Wollongong’s Health and Wellbeing Precinct reaches new milestone
Development application for innovative concept submitted
The University of Wollongong has lodged a Development Application to Wollongong City Council seeking approval for a masterplan concept for Phase 1 of the proposed world-class Health and Wellbeing Precinct.
The phase 1 masterplan concept is specifically for a 3.5-hectare area located at the southern end of the University’s Innovation Campus at Fairy Meadow, which is estimated to cost $250 million to build and will deliver more than $600 million in increased economic output to the region during construction.
Announced in 2018, the University’s Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a ground-breaking concept that combines health research and teaching with patient-centred, multidisciplinary health facilities and independent housing for over 55s.
The Precinct has been designed to promote intergenerational living, life-long learning and improve health outcomes for people in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Sutherland Shire. It will be a place for living, learning, working and growing in an environment that supports complete physical, social and mental health and wellbeing. When completed in 2024, the Precinct will be Australia’s first Intergenerational University Community.
Its design aims to foster a welcoming, user-friendly environment that invites all ages to enjoy, and caters to the local and broader community. With people at the centre of the concept’s design, the Precinct will promote physical activity and provide open space and social hubs to stimulate community connections.
The Development Application outlines a concept masterplan for Phase 1 including:
- A new large, green open space, situated at the heart of the Precinct and open to the whole community;
- A University operated Primary Community Health Centre combining community health services with a significant focus on teaching and research activities in health-related disciplines;
- An Independent Living Retirement complex operated by Lendlease that will feature quality facilities for residents and approximately 220-240 apartments;
- Residential aged care facility with approximately 120-144 beds;
- Childcare Centre with approximately 80-100 places;
- Community facilities including a wellness centre, café and community hub;
- Neighbourhood retail to service the Precinct;
- Sustainability features such as solar energy and water-sensitive urban design.
The project will be a major stimulant to the local economy, generating hundreds of jobs during its construction and operation.
The University and development partner Lendlease have engaged extensively with community and stakeholders throughout the planning for the Precinct over the past two years, most recently holding community feedback and information webinar sessions.
Further development applications to realise the vision for the Precinct will be submitted in future.
Pending final planning approvals, construction of the Precinct is proposed to commence in 2022 and the facilities are expected to be fully operational by 2024.
To get involved or for more information, visit the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus website. The DA will be also available on the Council web site or NSW Planning Portal shortly and this will include formal public notification and consultation information.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE welcomed this important step towards realising the Health and Wellbeing Precinct vision.
“The Health and Wellbeing Precinct is a truly transformative project that will focus on one of the great challenges of our time: an ageing population, and deliver innovative research and education solutions,” Professor Wellings said.
“By fostering collaboration across higher education, industry, health care providers, government and the community, this project will enable education, research and service delivery that benefits local residents and influences how health and aged care is delivered far beyond our region.
“Submitting the development application for Phase 1 is the first step in the delivery of this world-class, ground-breaking project that has been purposefully designed to promote intergenerational living and life-long learning.
“The development of this Precinct will deliver new jobs and new opportunities for economic development for Wollongong at a time where the City will be working to recover both socially and economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
“This is a terrific opportunity to shape the future economy of the city and capitalise on the demographic challenge facing the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and South Coast.”
Lendlease Retirement Living Managing Director Nathan Cockerill also welcomed the submission of the development application.
“We’re excited to be one step closer to realising our vision to provide independent living accommodation for over 55s, where they can reap the benefits of intergenerational living and having the best facilities and research taking place on their doorstep,” Mr Cockerill said.
“Social isolation is one of the biggest issues facing older Australians. Our residents will have the chance to interact with people of all ages who are visiting the Precinct daily, whether for work, classes, healthcare or childcare or simply to enjoy the new Precinct facilities and spaces. They’ll also enjoy the benefits of living in an environment that supports a healthy active lifestyle, close to beaches, recreational reserves and cycleways.”
Health and Wellbeing Precinct - Key Facts
Project economic impacts for Phase 1:
- $250 million in capital construction
- Economic output of more than $600 million during construction of Phase 1
- Creation of hundreds of jobs direct and indirect through construction and operations
- Annual benefits to the community of $7 million from additional supply of aged care, health cost savings and avoided hospital costs
- Strengthens the University’s research capabilities and global role in improving community health outcomes.