PLANS are in motion to deliver Bathurst a multi-million dollar integrated medical services facility, including a new private hospital, and a prominent CBD site has been named as the location.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bathurst RSL Club Ltd confirmed it is in negotiations with a development consortium for the potential construction of the 9000 square metre medical facility on the former Clancy Motors site.
They are also in discussions with Bathurst Regional Council about the development, which also proposes to construct a multi-level car park behind the RSL.
The existing car park is owned by council.
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Bathurst RSL general manager Peter Sargent said "the proposed development has the potential to address a number of existing concerns within our community, whilst at the same time addressing the club's need to provide more parking".
"It's been a bit of a complex proposition, as the site is still currently owned by Bolam Property Investments. However, ownership of the site is set to move to the club in May 2021 under an option deed agreement reached between the Club and Bolam Property Investments in October 2019," he said.
"So, we've been negotiating and working with a number of different parties to get this to come together.
"The best part of that has been that all of our interests have been aligned around delivering the best possible outcome for Bathurst."
Mr Sargent confirmed the development consortium includes people who were involved with Orange's new Bloomfield Medical Centre.
The proposed facility is expected to boost the medical services currently available in Bathurst and make relocating to Bathurst a much more attractive for prospective medical professionals.
Regarding the parking proposal, Mr Sargent said the RSL Club is prepared to contribute to the cost of construction and the developers are prepared to pay for the parking that their development would require.
"We're asking council to also make a contribution, in order to add more public parking spaces, delivering better parking infrastructure for the Bathurst CBD into the future," he said.
While no development application has been submitted yet, the concept was formally presented to council and received a "positive response".
"It's still early days, but we were really encouraged by the positive response from councillors when the concept was formally presented to them," Mr Sargent said.
"The developers have shown a genuine interest in working cooperatively with council and the community to give the DA the best possible chance of success once it is submitted, and we remain hopeful that we will see the concept come to fruition".
When asked how long a project like this could take, he said construction could be completed within two years, but when it could start would depend on the approvals process.
Mayor Bobby Bourke is backing the idea.
"This is great news, probably the best news I've heard since I've been on council, working with developers and the RSL Club," he said.
"Bathurst has lacked good quality services in the medical field for a long time. There's been a lot of discussions over health issues for years now, so to have a private hospital here to take a bit of pressure of the public system, I can see them working well together."
The majority of councillors are fully supportive of the proposal, Cr Bourke said, and he expects council will work closely with the developers to see if it can come to fruition.