Dementia village gets the go-ahead

The proposed entrance of the Hawthorndale Care Village. Image: Supplied

THE Invercargill City Council has given the green light for a revolutionary dementia unit to be built on the old Hawthorndale School site on Tay St in Invercargill.

On Monday, Hawthorndale Care Village working group member Paddy O’Brien confirmed resource consent had been granted for the $33 million development.

A resource consent hearing for the village project was held in November with six submissions received drawn.

The decision from commissioner K J Hovel released on Monday, shows four submissions addressed concerns about the disruption during construction, access to the site and parking.

One neutral submission was received by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ensuring the proposed vehicle crossing on Tay St and alterations to the median area on the street were formed correctly with necessary approvals.

The consent now allowed the building of 13 single storey residential care homes, each containing six or seven bedrooms, 19 single-storey independent residential living units with associated outdoor living spaces and attached single garages, and a two-storey apartment building containing 22 residential apartments and covered car parks.

It would also include a village centre containing a covered atrium with retail and commercial activities including a bakery, cafe/bar, dairy/post office, spa/hair salon, physiotherapy clinic and gymnasium which would be open to the public, but accessible only from within the complex.

The village model was based on the De Hogeweyk aged care village in The Netherlands which focused on dementia patients living as normal a life as possible, while still remaining safe.

It was proposed the village would be built in three stages with construction to be completed in seven years, the consent decision says.

Mr O’Brien said they were thrilled with the decision and eager to get the construction under way in 2021.

The project had just $4 million left to raise with more than $29 million funding confirmed for the $33 million development, he said.

Working group member Mark O’Connor said a key focus now would be securing the remaining funding to ensure the construction tender phase of the project could get under way as soon as possible.

The project represented an opportunity to redefine aged care in New Zealand, starting in Southland, Mr O’Connor said.Running sport mediaNike