Lionel Baguley is opposing the plan to build six units for elderly people at the vacant blocks behind Akooramak.
Lionel Baguley is opposing the plan to build six units for elderly people at the vacant blocks behind Akooramak. Emma Channon

Aged care units get thumbs down

AGED care units could soon be occupying two blocks behind Akooramak – but not if nearby resident Lionel Baguley has anything to do with it.

A submission for a Material Change of Use was lodged with council by Gary Hayes Surveyors and proposes the Labatt St blocks be developed into six self-contained units.

The one-storey units have been designed by Warwick's Mark Hines and include wheelchair access and other necessities to facilitate independence for elderly people.

But Wentworth St resident Lionel Baguley, who lives behind the proposed construction site, argues the development would only put more pressure on current facilities.

Mr Baguley said he was worried for the safety of the Akooramak residents if the unit development went ahead.

“The people like to walk down Labatt St,” he said.

“On our corner of Labatt and Wentworth Streets we get a good view of Warwick and the race track and they like to come and have a look.

“(Labatt St) is already used quite heavily and six more units could potentially bring another 12 cars. It'd be too much traffic.”

Another concern Mr Baguley outlined was a perceived stormwater drainage and footpath issue.

“Council has to look at some kind of footpath or something. There's no footpath on Wentworth St and the residents from Akooramak have to walk down the middle of Labatt St to get there,” he said.

“Also there's no underground drains to take the water underneath Labatt St.

“There's so much water that comes down from Akooramak that when there's a downpour it floods (the bottom half of the street). Cars have to just about come to a stop to get through.

“Having those units would only increase the volume of water coming down.”

Surveyor and applicant Gary Hayes said stormwater drainage was taken into account in the plans, and would not be an issue if the units were approved.

“We've already had stormwater easement and there will be no stormwater going through Labatt St,” he said.

“I don't see the road width being an issue (either) – if the road needs to be widened then I'm sure Council will condition that on the plans.

“There won't be traffic coming and going like people going to work or taking their kids to school.”

“It will just be visitors,” Mr Hayes said.

Four of the units will be two-bedroom and the other two will be three-bedroom.

They have been designed to give independence to elderly people before they require a nursing home.

Mr Hayes said the units had also been designed with Akooramak facilities in mind.

“We see it as being close enough to Akooramak that hopefully an initiative can be established so the residents at the units can join in activities, especially if (the units) were being used as a transitional stage.”

Mr Hayes said he was happy to answer questions about the proposed development.

Akooramak chief executive officer Darryl Chapman said the management committee was going to consider the proposal before making any comment on the submission.

Members of the public have until May 12 to lodge objections.

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