Councillor John Fry has heralded the proposal for a multi-million dollar medical facility as a real opportunity for Bathurst to introduce a state-of-the-art 'green standard' building in the CBD.
The proposal, which was confirmed by the Bathurst RSL Club executive earlier this month, would see the former Clancy Motors site transformed into an integrated medical services facility and the neighbouring car park into a multi-story complex.
Once a development application is submitted, Cr Fry said there's real potential for council and developers to push for an environmentally sustainable facility.
"This is one of the biggest developments Bathurst could see in decades, so let's get it right," he said.
"We have to remember this building will deal with people recovering from illness, so if we design a 'green star' building, it won't only benefit the environment, but patient wellbeing as well."
Cr Fry's 'green star' measure refers to the Green Building Council Australia's assessment process examining the sustainability attributes of a project through impact categories such as design, interior fitout, community impact and operational performance.
"We should consider a renewable energy solution for the building, including solar panels and backup batteries... it costs more in the short term, but they pay for themselves over a few years," he said.
"A mid-storey setback should also be considered, as it would allow patients deck access to enjoy the sunlight with some greenery around them, which could be maintained by recycled water through council's proposed stormwater harvesting scheme."
"If you put patients in a cheap, nasty and toxic building, they won't get better, and sure, a four-star green rating [best practice] building may add as much as five per cent to the cost, but I feel it's a small price to pay for a future-focused development."
Cr Fry said he intends to establish a community group with an interest in the project once the DA is approved.
"The group will be open to experts in the fields of renewable energy, architecture, planning and heritage, as well as neighbouring businesses, residences and any other interested community members," he said.
"I hope we can get this project to a 'green star' standard, it's a chance for Bathurst to take the lead in regards to sustainable planning."
The Clancy Motors site is currently owned by Bolam Property Investments but is expected to move into the RSL's hands in May next year.
Council owns the neighbouring car park, and a majority of councillors support the proposal.
Have something to say? Speak your mind!
- Send a letter to the editor