Work has begun on a $150 million all-purpose medical facility in Cambridge’s northern suburbs.
The Health Hub will establish “medical independence” for Cambridge, developers behind the facility claim.
It will contain a medical centre, day-stay hospital, specialist suites, a rehabilitation hub, hydrotherapy pool, pharmacy, dentist, optometrist, audiologist, gymnasium and a cafe.
A pet hospital, believed to be New Zealand’s first, will provide veterinary surgical services.
Developers, anaesthetist Luk Chin and horse breeder Justine Lady Hogan, say Cambridge urgently requires additional medical services.
The development, which Waipā District Council staff approved in mid August on a non-notified basis despite it being a non-complying activity under the District Plan, will be on a 1.7ha portion of a property at 42 Laurent Road.
The complex will be on the intersection of Victoria Road and Norfolk Drive.
Developers have worked closely with Waikato District Health Board over the possibility of running satellite services from the complex and opening a birthing centre.
In a letter to neighbours earlier this year, developers said the aim of the complex was to provide access to comprehensive medical and health-related services within an integrated, navigable and easily accessible campus.
It would establish medical independence for Cambridge and provide high level support for Waipā’s elite sportspeople, the letter said.
Stage one will see Te Awamutu’s Mahoe Medical practice establish their second regional practice while Hamilton Radiology and Pathlab will provide imaging and laboratory services. A two-theatre day surgical unit with specialist consultant support, a café and pet hospital, rounds up stage one.
Stage two features physiotherapy, sports medicine and rehabilitation facilities.
The developers also own adjacent land and plan a major residential development of 30 high spec homes and more than 40 houses, including compact housing, and provision for a childcare centre.
Dr Chin, who established Anglesea Clinic in Hamilton with other shareholders in 1991, believes that health encompasses physical, mental and social aspects with a greater focus required on wellbeing, recovery and support.
There would be major changes in health delivery in the future, he said.
“The significant impact of the current pandemic will put increasing pressure on our public health system.
“A team approach between public and private will be required to meet the demands of the future, and that decentralising of health services can only have a positive impact to the health sector overall,” said Dr Chin.
The development was a non-complying activity in a residential zone under the council’s District Plan. Consent was also required for hospital activity, infringements to the maximum building length, maximum building height and impermeable surfaces rules; size of signs; width of vehicle crossings; and development not in accordance with the Cambridge North Structure Plan.
All neighbours, bar one, provided written or verbal approval for the overall project.
Council staff said any adverse effects would be “less than minor”.
In a media release the AHS Group, who designed and will build the complex, said they would work with architect Anna-Marie Chin who has extensive experience with residential architecture.