A DEVELOPMENT application for the proposed Bathurst Integrated Medical Centre and multi-storey car park buildings in the CBD is expected in the coming months as preparation work continues.
The most visible sign of progress on the project has been the start this week of investigative drilling in the Bathurst Regional Council-owned car park behind the Bathurst RSL Club.
But Zauner Construction's construction manager Matt Howard says other important steps are expected to be taken in the months to come.
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One of those steps will be a chance for the public to have its say on allowing the 29-metre medical centre to be built in an area where the maximum allowable height has been 12m.
The Bathurst Integrated Medical Centre group and Zauner Construction are those behind the proposed six-storey medical centre on the old Clancy Motors site and a multi-storey car park, which would be owned by council, on the site of the current car park behind the RSL Club.
Mr Howard said one of two stages in the delivery of planning approvals for the project - the rezoning approval - was now in motion.
Bathurst mayor Robert Taylor announced in late May that council had received a planning proposal as part of the proposed development, seeking "to amend the planning controls under the Bathurst Regional Local Environmental Plan to enable a building height and floor space ratio greater than that which is currently permissible".
For the planning proposal to be progressed, council had to seek a gateway determination from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, which it has received.
Mr Howard said the next step will be a public exhibition on the proposed amendment to the planning controls and "we are just finalising documentation on that".
"That exhibition will be out in roughly a month and, then, the public can make comment," he said.
With that stage completed, Mr Howard said the next stage will be lodging a development application "for the approval of the buildings themselves".
He said it is expected that the DA will be lodged in the coming months, after feedback has been gathered from the public exhibition of the planning controls amendment.
Mr Howard said the investigative drilling that has started this week, and is expected to take two to three weeks, will provide information that will be of use in the submission of the DA.
He said geotechnical engineers will be looking at the depth and strength of the rock layer in the council car park ground as part of the drilling, which is requiring a number of car spaces to be temporarily fenced off from the public.
Though it's now been about 18 months since the Bathurst community heard about the proposed medical centre and multi-storey car park, Mr Howard said the project's timeline remained on track.
"Planning approvals do take a long time," he said. "This being a state level project, it takes a lot longer again."
As a state significant development, it is the NSW Government, not Bathurst Regional Council, that will eventually have the final say on whether the project goes ahead.
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