Largest private hospital wins approval to expand
BREAKING: The largest private hospital on the Darling Downs has been given planning approval for a massive expansion.
In a unanimous decision this afternoon, Toowoomba Regional Council's councillors voted to allow St Vincent's Private Hospital, Toowoomba to go ahead with its ambitious expansion, the most significant in recent years.
The project involves the construction of six new operating theatres and six new pre-operative holding areas in a move that will increase the hospital's capacity for day operations.
It is predicted a maximum of an extra 30 operations will take place each day if the hospital operates at maximum capacity.
The project also involved the removal of 24 basement car parks, which led to fears of a car parking crisis, particularly given the proximity of the nearby Toowoomba Grammar school.
Car parking dominated the debate at City Hall today, with developers assuring council the removal of the parks, and increasing demand by about 59 motorists, would not impact on the neighbourhood.
A town planner representing the hospital, James Juhasz, referred to a parking study which stated there would be 30 to 60 onsite (and paid) parking spaces available even during peak demand.
It was also revealed street parking would be at 98% capacity at peak times, in this case 3pm.
Cr Mike Williams said he understood free parking would be at a premium, because it was free.
"It will fill up first but they can't be held accountable for on street parking, their responsibility lies with onsite parking, which is no-where near capacity, and that's the basis on which we should consider this application."
Cr Carol Taylor excused herself from the vote due to a conflict of interest relating to her role on an advisory board for the hospital.
Outline of the works
- Relocation of the hospital kitchen to the basement including relocation of grease arrestor
- Displacement of 24 basement car parking spaces
- Minor changes to service and staff areas including loading and delivery bays and service lift
Lower ground level
- Six new operating theatres and six new pre-operative holding areas
- Changes to the layout of the lower ground level. This area includes nine beds within the preoperative holding area, storage and administration areas
- Sixteen recovery beds/bays and ten recovery lounges and discharge station in an extension to the Mackenzie St frontage
- Enclosing the existing under croft to accommodate bulk stores, plant and an administration area
- Relocating the café to the existing chapel area and constructing a new café deck with 48 seats and an area of 97sq m
- Relocating the chapel within the existing lower ground floor level
- Realigning the existing egress driveway to Mackenzie Street to improve its functionality whilst avoiding the street tree to that frontage
- Reconfiguring the lift shaft and lobby
- Locating mechanical plant and landscaping to the new operating theatre roof
- Reconfiguration to integrate with the revised layout