Council says, ‘Save our hospital’

Published:
05/10/2021

Willoughby City Council has called on the State Government to cease its proposal to develop 2.27 hectares of land within the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) site.

As reported by North Shore Living in June, the NSW Government is facing mounting opposition to plans to redevelop land at the southern end of the hospital campus into a new ‘health precinct’.

Opponents say 95 per cent of the Herbert Street development would preclude future use of the land for patient-related healthcare, as it proposes the construction of a 45-storey residential tower, commercial offices, retail, and a primary school.

Dr Bruce Cooper, chair of RNSH’s Staff Medical Council and a driving force behind the campaign to preserve the land, says the development could significantly hinder the hospital’s ability to provide up-to-date care and services into the future.

“Generally, all hospitals need to be rebuilt every 30 to 40 years. To be able to do that, you’ve got to have empty space that you can build on while you’ve still got a functional hospital,” he explains.

“This is prime land. It’s public land. It’s the best land in the hospital – right adjacent to the train station and the bus terminal.

“It’s critical that we preserve this land… [for] the future of the hospital and for the future of the healthcare of this area.”

Willoughby Council have now joined his calls, agreeing to write to the ministers for planning, health, and education, along with the NSW premier, urging the development plans be scrapped.

“While we might have a brand-spanking new hospital at the moment, it’s really important to remember that won’t be the case forever. Protecting this land so that we have that ability to meet the future needs of our residents is really important,” Councillor Nic Wright said.

A community-led petition to NSW Parliament calling for the land to be reserved for clinical use only has garnered over 2,700 signatures. 

Author:
Stephanie Aikins, Editor-in-Chief, North Shore Living Magazine

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