What is a planning proposal and why is one needed?

    A planning proposal is a document and supporting information that explains the intended effect and justification of a proposed Local Environmental Plan (LEP) or amendment to an LEP.

    The Lake Macquarie Private Hospital is one of three private hospitals in the city and is located in Gateshead adjacent to the Pacific Highway. The hospital and adjacent consulting suites are operating at or near capacity and additional floorspace is required to provide additional health services to meet the needs of the growing Lake Macquarie population, as well as the wider Hunter region.

    To address this issue, the planning proposal on public exhibition seeks to:

    • Amend the height of buildings map from 10m to 37m in the Lake Macquarie Local Environmental Plan 2014 (LMLEP 2014), applying to the northern part of the Lake Macquarie Private Hospital at Gateshead. 
    • Rezone the site from R3 Medium Density Residential to SP2 Infrastructure (Health Services Facilities) to better reflect the current use of the site. 
    • Support a State Significant Development Application for expansion of the hospital.

    What would the planning proposal permit?

    This planning proposal relates to Lake Macquarie Private Hospital (LMPH), 3 Sydney Street, 2 & 4 Casey Street, 36 & 38 Pacific Highway, Gateshead

    The change to the building height is proposed for the north of the hospital site only. Several locations for the expansion and additional building height were investigated including additional height across the entire existing hospital site, or only the southern section or middle sections of the existing hospital site. 

    The option of developing the northern section of the site was chosen as the only viable option that would meet the projected demands without causing a critical disruption to the ongoing operation of the existing hospital. A building height limit of 37m (which equates to 10 storeys) was identified as the height required to contain the new surgery theatres, ward beds, car parking and consulting suites needed to meet the projected demands.

    The intended outcome of this planning proposal is to facilitate a State Significant Development (SSD) proposal for the expansion of LMPH, which will:

    • deliver on identified strategic goals for Gateshead as a regionally significant health precinct
    • enable a hospital expansion that supports future healthcare needs of our community
    • encourage a cluster of medical facilities and services at Gateshead, including LMPH, which opens possibilities for an expanded, regionally significant health precinct. This precinct would complement the increased density and diversity of housing in surrounding areas such as Windale, Whitebridge and Kahibah
    • capture significant local, regional and state, social and economic benefits including substantial private financial investment, construction and operational employment and multiplier effects, improved healthcare product and other public benefits
    • facilitate delivery of public domain improvements, improved connectivity and activation
    • provide infrastructure and related uses
    • prevent development that is not compatible with or that may detract from the provision of infrastructure, also provide land required for the development or expansion of major health, education and community facilities.

    What will this mean for parking in the area?

    This planning proposal, once endorsed by Council, will enable the NSW Government to lodge a State Significant Development (SSD) Application in 2023 - additional car parking will be proposed in the SSD Application.

    Traffic reports submitted as part of these applications indicate sufficient car parking will be provided once these aspects of the development commence.

    Additionally, Council will be undertaking a precinct planning process in 2023 which will also address parking and public transport in the area.

    What does State Significant Development (SSD) mean?

    Some types of development are deemed to have State Significance if they are over a certain size, have a high economic value or due to the potential impacts the development may have. 

    The planning proposal amendment on public exhibition is to support a State Significant Development Application for expansion of the hospital and aligns with the Hunter Regional Plan 2036 and the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036, which identify the area as having a regionally significant health precinct.

    The Minister of Planning or the Independent Planning Commission is the consent authority for SSD Applications. In some cases, the Minister may delegate the decision-making function to Department staff. More information on the SSD Process is available at planning.nsw.gov.au/Assess-and-Regulate/Development-Assessment/Planning-Approval-Pathways/State-Significant-Development.

    What is the vision for Gateshead more broadly?

    Gateshead is well positioned to become a key medical precinct within Lake Macquarie. 

    A precinct plan for Gateshead will be developed in 2023 that will identify the public infrastructure needed to meet the demands of the growing centre. It will also provide built form controls for private development and address other public domain improvements.

    The Lake Macquarie Local Strategic Planning Statement identifies an action to prepare a Gateshead Medical Precinct concept plan to facilitate the orderly development of this medical precinct, including allied health and other supporting businesses.

    The Gateshead Precinct Plan will be prepared for community feedback in the second half of 2023.

    Residents and organisations who complete a submission on the LMPH planning proposal will be notified of the Gateshead Precinct Plan public exhibition once it commences. 

How to make a submission

    How can I make a submission?

    • Provide written feedback via the online submission form on this website.
    • Email [email protected] with the subject heading "Planning Proposal, Lake Macquarie Private Hospital Gateshead RZ/13/2021"
    • Write to Integrated Planning, Box 1906, Hunter Region Mail Centre, NSW 2310

    Hardcopies of the planning proposal are available from Charlestown and Speers Point libraries, as well as the Council Administrative Building.

    What should I put in a submission?

    Your submission can be as concise or as long as you wish:

    Ideally, you will express your level of support for the proposal and provide detailed and specific feedback. The feedback will be reviewed by staff and later presented to Council to make an informed decision.

    Should multiple submissions be received from a single resident regarding this project, the feedback will be reviewed by staff and counted as one submission when reporting back to Council.

    Any submission received by Council will be publicly available on Council’s website.  Submissions may also be accessed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.  Council may reproduce submissions in Council reports or in Court proceedings.

    If you have made a reportable political donation or gift in the last two years your submission must be accompanied by a "Disclosure Statement of Political Donations and Gifts where Council is Approval Authority - Submitters" Form.  For more information on reportable political donations or gifts, or to download a copy of this form go to lakemac.com.au and search for "Political Donations Submitters".  Please note failure to complete a statement, if a Political Donation/Gift has been made, is an offence under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

    I've made a submission - what happens next?

    Feedback may result in further changes being made to the planning proposal prior to a report being prepared for Council.

    You will be notified again, prior to Council considering the matter, which will include a link to the Council report containing a summary of submissions and how feedback was considered. It is expected the proposal will be reported back to Council seeking adoption in early 2023.