Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mullum Hospital site slow to heal

Work on the remediation of Mullumbimby Hospital site in the NSW Northern Rivers region will continue well into next year, Byron Shire Council has announced.

It says ongoing problems with asbestos contamination on the site have considerably slowed plans for the redevelopment of the 4.4-hectare parcel of land that Council bought from NSW Health for $1 in 2018.

Work started on the remediation of the site in January 2019, and was expected to take 12 months, however further asbestos deposits were found.

Specialised consultants have been working on plans to contain and cap contaminated parts of the site along with an environmental management plan which will guide any future development of the site.

“There is a well-documented history of asbestos contamination in one hospital building and Council was aware of this when they bought it,” said Council Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway.

“No one was aware of the extent of the problem beyond the footprint of that building.”

He said a Remediation Action Plan for the remainder of the works has been accepted by the NSW Environment Protection Authority accredited site auditor and Council will now prepare a tender to complete this work.

The discovery of further asbestos contamination means that an additional $1.5 million will be needed to complete the remediation works, Mr Holloway confirmed.

“In keeping with the recommendations of the Mullumbimby Hospital Site Project Reference Group it remains Council’s aim that the property is developed to include a range of housing and some community uses.”

“Council’s Place Planning team will give an update to the new Council early next year regarding the future development of the site.”

Information about Mullumbimby Hospital is on Council’s website.

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