Aged care lifts off in Evans Head

Richmond Valley Council has announced they will proceed with the sale of land at the southern end of the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome to RSL Life Care, which plans to build a 120-bed nursing home as well as a range of aged care units, residential housing and other facilities.

The sale price for the land has not been set as Council are still waiting to appoint a successful tender to carry out clean-up works on the land, which has been contaminated with toxic material since WWII.

Tenders recently closed for the clean-up and an announcement is expected in the coming weeks with work being completed no later than the end of the year.

“This is a landmark announcement for a project that has been a priority of Council for number of years,” Mayor Col Sullivan said. “The resilience and commitment shown by RSL Life Care, whilst contamination and other issues have been addressed, has enabled the aged care project to be progressed to a position where things can now start to happen.”

But vocal opponent of the proposed facility and president of the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Committee, Dr Richard Gates, said Tuesday night’s announcement creates a clear land use conflict with aviation.

“There is no doubt we need a nursing home at Evans Head for locals. My committee has never opposed that. But it is poor planning to put a retirement village/nursing home on an aerodrome next to an industrial estate. It would seem the only reason the retirement home did not proceed on the original Currajong Street site for which it had an approved DA was that the proponent was not prepared to pay the price of the land,” he said.

Mayor Sullivan said the noise issue had been researched by “credible people in that field”.

“We believe the building can be built so there is no noise pollution coming from the airport that will affect residents of the village. I have no fears about that. Mr Gates is well aware of it too and is clutching at straws trying to stop the development,” he said.


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