Artist's impression of the 'green heart' of the Health and Wellbeing Precinct development on Innovation Campus

Health and Wellbeing Precinct Development Application update

Health and Wellbeing Precinct Development Application update

Design fosters welcoming, user-friendly environment catering to the local and broader community

The University of Wollongong has lodged a revised Development Application (DA) to Wollongong City Council for a masterplan concept for Phase 1 of the proposed world-class Health and Wellbeing Precinct.

This DA updates the initial DA submitted to Council in January 2021 and reflects the ongoing collaboration with Council and its independent Design Review Panel to refine and improve the masterplan design and technical elements for precinct users, the University, and wider community.

The phase 1 masterplan concept is for the 3.5-hectare area located at the southern end of the University’s Innovation Campus at North Wollongong. The Precinct is estimated to cost $250 million to build and will deliver more than $600 million in increased economic output to the region during construction and operations.

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 across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region. 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 2025, 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 revised concept masterplan for Council’s consideration, including:

  • A new larger, green open space, situated at the heart of the Precinct and open to the whole community;
  • An Independent Living Retirement complex operated by Lendlease that will feature quality facilities for residents and up to 240 apartments;
  • Residential aged care facility with up to 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 Precinct will include a Primary Community Heath Centre that will combine community health services with a significant focus on teaching and research activities. This is now proposed to be located prominently at the precinct entry.

The project will be a major stimulant to the local economy, generating hundreds of jobs during its construction and operation.

Further detailed 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 2025.

To get involved or for more information, visit the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus website. The additional information and revisions to the DA will be also available on the Council website or NSW Planning Portal shortly and this will include formal public notification and consultation information.

UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson welcomed this important step towards realising the Health and Wellbeing Precinct vision.

“The Health and Wellbeing Precinct is underpinned by a social mandate to support the health outcomes for the region. UOW seeks to build on our strengths and reputation for leading health research, particularly in aged care, dementia and mental health. Our ageing population creates a number of complex challenges and opportunities for our community, which go beyond the absence of disease.

 “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 revised development application.

“We’re excited to be one step closer to realising our vision of delivering quality independent living accommodations for over 55s as part of the region’s newest health and wellbeing precinct, where residents will be able to access all the benefits of intergenerational living, and have the best facilities and research taking place on their doorstep,” Mr Cockerill said.

“Future residents will have the opportunity to interact with people of all ages who visit the precinct, and also enjoy the benefits of living in a green 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.