Seniors housing approved for Heritage Parc
Maitland councillors have used the approval a seniors housing development to call for better public transport links in new communities.
Councillors unanimously approved an 80-dwelling development in Rutherford’s Heritage Parc estate at Tuesday night’s meeting, which will also include a community centre, bowling green, swimming pool and an area for nine caravans.
The single-storey, two-bedroom dwellings will be constructed on land off Discovery Way, which had previously been earmarked for 32 residential dwellings.
The nearest public transport link is on Racecourse Road, approximately 450 metres away.
A community bus will be provided to transport residents to local services, but Councillor Robert Aitchison said he didn’t believe those buses were always an appropriate solution.
“It’s good to see seniors housing being delivered in that part of West Maitland [but] I don’t think enough effort has been put in to public transport,” he said.
“It’s time we stamped out feet up and down and sent a message to developers moving into the area that we need to start thinking about public transport.
“More thought needed to be put into having a pathway to Racecourse Road so residents can access public transport.”
Cr Peter Garnham asked council officers about whether public transport links were considered when assessing an application.
Council’s Development and Environment manager David Simm said that public transport was a consideration, but officers could work harder at it [in the future].
General Manager David Evans said that Council could not insist on public transport links, but was only in a position to advocate.