We assisted Knowles Group and Arcare Aged Care with the development of a 92-bed aged care facility

We recently assisted Knowles Group and Arcare Aged Care with planning and economics services to obtain development approval for a 92-bed aged care facility and neighbourhood centre designed by Oksio Design in Thornlands, Redlands.

Our role

As part of the initial project feasibility and due diligence stage, we undertook a retail catchment demand analysis to determine the extent of retail floorspace which the site could feasibly sustain, and the retail mix that would best respond to the needs of the local community. 

Our planning team also produced a detailed assessment of the relevant assessment benchmarks and design parameters that the development was required to achieve in order to inform the concept design, and to identify risks and mitigation strategies.

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The demand for retail floorspace

To support the development application, our Economics team undertook an assessment of the surrounding centres hierarchy and the demand for local retail floorspace that could be supported at the subject site. This identified that the immediate catchment area had limited potential for population growth and is already well serviced by retail facilities. On this basis, potential for a small amount of local convenience retailing was identified for the site.

Aging in place

A proportion of the subject site is located within a bushfire risk buffer area and local and state policy indicates that aged care facilities, identified as a vulnerable use, should be developed unless there is an over-riding need. Furthermore, our Economics team also undertook a demand and supply assessment of aged care facilities within the locality. This analysis confirmed that the aged care service model of ‘aging in place’, whereby 70% of future residents of the aged care facility will previously have lived within 10km of the site.

More facilities approved

Redlands comprised a total of 1,675 operational aged care beds as of June 2019, according to Department of Health data. Based on a review of CordellConnect and Council databases, a further four aged care facilities have been approved as either new developments or expansions. Combined, these facilities account for a potential increase of approximately 390 additional aged care beds in Redlands.

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By 2029, there is a forecast need for approximately +370 additional residential aged care beds in Redland City, with this need increasing to approximately +750 residential aged care beds by 2034. Assuming new aged care facilities average approximately 90 beds per facility, an additional 8–9 new aged care facilities may be required over the 15 years, based on current benchmarks.

An overwhelming need to be met 

This data demonstrates that there is an overwhelming need for additional residential aged care beds, equating to approximately 8–9 new facilities, in Redland City Council over the next 10–15 years.

In order to illustrate how this need is being met, it was important to review the potential for other sites to be developed for aged care facilities. Analysis of potential alternative sites for aged care development was undertaken based on GIS analysis of the relevant planning zones, property cadastre, Nearmap aerial imagery, and the presence of natural hazards (e.g. bushfire, flooding, etc). Based on this criteria, a total of 6 sites were identified. Therefore, a shortfall of 2 to 3 sites located within a preferred zone and not subject to hazards exists over the next 10–15 years. Our assessment identified that there is a shortfall of suitable sites in Redlands to respond to the demand for future aged care facilities and that the subject site was essential to meeting the future needs of the community.

Our project team include economists Alex Wilson and Nick Brisbane, and planning experts Nikita Gleeson and Ashley Everton.

For further information on this project please contact Ashley Everton.

Alex Wilson

Alex Wilson

Urbanist | Melbourne

Ashley Everton

Ashley Everton

Associate Director | Brisbane

Nick Brisbane

Nick Brisbane

Director | Melbourne

Nikita Gleeson

Nikita Gleeson

Urbanist | Brisbane