New hospital given green light
THE first development application for the $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest told the Tweed Daily News the State Government had approved the project's Environmental Impact Statement, allowing major construction contractor Lendlease to set up shop and begin early works on the site.
A second development application for the hospital building's design is due to be submitted in the near future.
Mr Provest said the new hospital would provide a huge boost to the region's economy.
"The Tweed Valley Hospital project is forecast to have up to 650 workers on-site at the peak of construction," he said.
"In addition, there will be a significant increase in operational jobs which will be determined through detailed work force planning."
He said the hospital would cater to a population that is expected to grow by 24 percent over the next two decades.
"It's so important that health services in the Tweed region can accommodate future growth and the demands of an ageing population," Mr Provest said.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the project has gone through a rigorous assessment process and feedback from locals had been taken into account.
"The project has been approved subject to conditions that address the issues that the community has raised, including impacts to state significant farmland," Mr Stokes said.
Mr Stokes said conditions of the approval included requirements to manage impacts of noise, dust and air quality on surrounding residents and visitors to the area.
Other conditions include on-going consultation with the community and those likely to be impacted by the development, while topsoil on the site must be reused for landscaping or other purposes.
The project must also identify opportunities for incorporating edible plant varieties within the landscape design for the future hospital.