Demolition of Richmond's Norman Court Retirement Village begins

By Krystyna Pollard
Hawkesbury Gazette, Fairfax Media

New beginnings: (L) David Ward and Matthew Green from Paynter and Dixon, Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, chief executive of Richmond Club Group Kimberley Talbot and Hawkesbury Living residential care manager Lauren Stanley on site as work commences on the Richmond Club's Hawkesbury Living Development in Richmond. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Demolition of Richmond's Norman Court Retirement Village has begun to make way for a state-of-the-art  $12 million aged care facility.

The demolition is the first step in the 12 month building schedule for the development of the 41 bed residential aged care extension to Hawkesbury Living.

Richmond Club Group chief executive Kimberley Talbot and Macquarie MP Susan Templeman joined representatives from Paynter Dixon Constructions to see the beginning of the demolition work on April 3.

Ms Talbot said the state-of- the-art development would cater for residents with complex health needs.

“There will be a large number of baby boomers in the Hawkesbury that will be entering aged care in the near future,” she said.“To meet this demand we are acting now to develop the site and further train our staff to care for more complex needs. The facility will feature advanced technology to not only make the operation of Hawkesbury Living more effective but to make it more comfortable for the residents and their families.”

The three-storey development will have eight single rooms designated as a palliative care floor, with another floor designed for residents with more complex health and behavioral care needs. It will also have a link that goes through to the existing Hawkesbury Living building to assist the 30 staff that will eventually be working there. 

Paynter Dixon representative, Matthew Green, said the new building had been designed with its heritage surroundings in mind.

“It’ll have a three-storey facade that has to respond to the street scape, and particularly to the adjacent heritage building,” he said. “So it’s a contemporary interpretation of the historic references around this area.”

Ms Templeman said more people were staying at home longer – “they’re ageing in place, which was the purpose of government policy” –  and by the time they were ready to move out of their own home their needs were subsequently much higher.

“We’ve absolutely needed places that fit with that broader [government] policy to be able to provide a really high level of care,” she said. “Dementia in particular is an issue as is palliative care, they’re the sorts of things this area hasn’t had enough beds for.

“I think it’s great to see [this project], it will mean more jobs and it will mean more importantly that more families can keep their loved person close to them in the area.”

Ms Talbot said was “very rewarding” to finally have the project on track for a February 2019 opening.

“We are very proud of this project and Hawkesbury Living, which will only increase in size and services in the coming years,” she said.

Richmond Club developed a five-stage masterplan for the site soon after acquiring Hawkesbury Living and Norman Court in 2005.

The first stage involved a complete refurbishment of the original facility and the successful granting of bed licenses to increase the number of places available from 68 beds to the current 100 beds, while the subsequent two stages included a $4.6 million investment in developing two new wings of the facility completed in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

The three level extension has been in the DA development stage for over four years, with the Richmond Club Board of Directors shifting focus to the amalgamation with Richmond Golf Club in 2013. 

The Richmond Club Board of Directors is now looking beyond the Hawkesbury Living site for the development of aged care services in Richmond. The $70-$100 million independent living resort-style units that will be located on Francis St announced in November 2017 are set to include the relocated Norman Court Retirement village directly across from Richmond Club.

Demolition of the old Norman Court Retirement Village begins. Picture: Geoff Jones.
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