29 May 2023

Work on Gold Creek Homestead aged-care redevelopment set to start

| Ian Bushnell
Start the conversation
five people at sod-turning ceremony

Ready for construction: At the sod turning are (from left) Tom Gordon from the SLA, Jason Fitzgerald from Lendlease, Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry, Aunty Violet from the Ngunnawal people, and resident Julie Hourigan. Photo: Supplied.

Construction of Lendlease’s aged-care development on the historic Gold Creek Homestead site in Ngunnawal is set to start in the coming months after a sod-turning ceremony last week.

The $80 million project includes an extension of the neighbouring The Grove Retirement Village and a new residential aged-care facility to be delivered by Arcare Aged Care.

READ ALSO Transport Canberra bus drivers accept pay rise, reject ‘tokenistic’ offer to increase weekend work

Lendlease acquired the site through a government tender process and the Suburban Land Agency confirmed the company paid $4.3m, with settlement on 16 May.

The planning authority gave the proposed development the green light in February.

The Grove extension will deliver 45 new two- and three-bedroom independent villas, while the new facility will be a three-storey building providing 124 beds.

As part of the sale conditions, the historic Gold Creek Homestead will be retained, restored and activated to acknowledge the precinct’s rich heritage.

About 8000 square metres of the 4.8-hectare site is home to the remnant homestead, which dates back to 1860.

The grounds will feature open space including a village green, expanded gardens, and walking and cycling paths.

The Grove extension will include a community centre with a library, gym, and heated indoor swimming pool.

The masterplan also shows a community garden and orchard, and a new entry drive from Monty Place that will bring people to the front of the homestead.

Engagement with Ngunnawal representatives led to a more natural draft design for a bush tucker garden and the introduction of a yarning circle.

Lendlease’s general manager of development for Victoria and the ACT, John Bruzzaniti, said the sod-turning ceremony attended by company officials, community representatives and Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry marked a key milestone after two years of design work, planning and community engagement.

“The availability of high-quality retirement living options is an important part of this precinct, creating a diversity in choice and the opportunity for retirees to rightsize their way,” he said.

Ms Berry said the sod turning represented the next development chapter for the Gold Creek Homestead Precinct.

“It will be a sustainable and inclusive intergenerational site that will build on our existing connections with the local community,” she said.

Lendlease says new villas will be available for purchase later this year, with the project expected to be completed by 2025.

The Suburban Land Agency ran the nationally advertised sale process – its second after a 2018 bid without any conditions provoked a campaign by the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC) and the National Trust that forced it off the market.

But a precinct development brief put together by a community panel, including the GCC, ensured that the heritage values were protected.

READ ALSO Transport Canberra bus drivers accept pay rise, reject ‘tokenistic’ offer to increase weekend work

The proposal has not been without controversy, with concerns about the traffic impacts during and after construction on the Monty Place entrance off Gungahlin Drive.

Traffic pressures are building generally in Gungahlin and there have been calls to duplicate roads in Ngunnawal and Casey, including Gungahlin Drive, to cope with growing peak-time congestion.

One traffic solution floated for the Lendlease development site included a new northern access road but that was discounted because of the established residences on that boundary.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.