• Tony Bosworth

$40m redevelopment at SJOG North Richmond will see new buildings, more beds, some demolition

St John Of God’s North Richmond hospital is set for a multi-million dollar upgrade and redevelopment which will see the demolition of eight buildings on the site, and six new buildings going up, to provide 24 new beds on the 9.5 hectare site on Grose Vale Road.

Hawkesbury Council has been side-stepped in the planning process because the development is classified as being of state significance, given it’s valued over $30m.

There are a number of heritage buildings on the site and areas of Aboriginal significance.

A chapel on the site will be demolished but a new one will be incorporated into the final development.

The open-air swimming pool will also go and the Monastery buildings, as well as a building known as St Pauls.

The Belmont Park mansion, garden, building, gatehouse and surrounding areas on the property are listed as local heritage items under the Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan and will not be demolished, although some surrounding older buildings will be taken down.

Heritage buildings will stay and in some cases be refurbished

St John of God – a privately run Catholic healthcare group which also runs Windsor’s Hawkesbury Hospital - say “the development seeks to retain all built form or heritage significance”.

The Battle of Richmond Hill Memorial Garden – which has Aboriginal and Colonial significance – is on the site but outside of the development area.

The planned works will see the demolition of eight buildings, trees removed and earthworks carried out, 17 car park spaces removed, refurbishment to heritage listed Belmont House, as well as non-heritage buildings, and there will be six new buildings up to two-storeys high.

Four residential pavilions, one garden pavilion and a wellness centre will be built. The total number of beds on site for patients will rise to 112, an extra 24.

Although the new buildings will be both one and two-storeys high, the bigger buildings will be taller than most normal two-storey builds because of the higher-than-normal floor-to-floor heights for hospitals.

Clinical facilities on the whole site will be upgraded to contemporary, best-practice standards.

There are also parts of the site that have high levels of important biodiversity.

The building plan says, “the proposed building footprint will be located generally outside of these areas”.

St John of God Hospital Richmond is a private psychiatric hospital which provides mental health care on an inpatient, day patient and outpatient basis.

The original hospital building was purchased in 1951 and in 2007 it became part of St John of God Health Care following a merger between the health care group and the services of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God.

St John of God Richmond Hospital offers a number of services for people suffering from mental health issues, including:

· anxiety and depression

· drug and alcohol addiction

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • older adult mental health issues

  • post-traumatic stress disorder

The redevelopment exhibition period finishes on Friday February 19. More details here:

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