Development that could solve town’s long health woes
VACANT land where an old restaurant once laid could be a solution to solve Kenilworth's long-running health woes that have been exhausted to just one doctor serving thousands.
A development application has been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council for a mixed-use development, including a food and drink outlet, shop, and health care services on two single-level buildings.
It is tabled for the block of land at 5 Elizabeth St, that has been vacant and used as a temporary car park since the restaurant was demolished in 2014.
Two doors up from the block of land is where Dr Siobhan MacDonald operates out of GP Care.
She said she caters for an estimated 3000 people out of "limited" facilities and welcomed the proposed addition to the town.
"It would be great if I were able to have a practice with more than one room," Dr MacDonald said.
"I don't even have room for a trainee doctor or students. It's very limited."
Adapt Planning lodged the application on behalf of Brisbane-based developers Kevin Schlort Polishers Pty Ltd just prior to Christmas.
"Building one would be a cafe and active retail shop on 222sq m and an exterior deck area of 203sq m," the plans read.
"Building two would sit on 249sq m and would have a covered walkway and access linking the buildings and car park areas.
"Onsite parking is accessed via Anne St and is situated at the rear of the site, not visible from Elizabeth St."
Eighteen local residents have signed letters of support in favour of the proposal saying it will bring a range of positive benefits to the town including employment opportunities, similar character and will encourage other businesses to support locals.
Division 10 councillor Greg Rogerson said he had been unsuccessful in his fight to have a permanent doctor in town for "years".
He said it was a common trend in rural towns in locating doctors away from metro areas.
"We've always had trouble enticing doctors to Kenilworth, doctors like urban areas," Cr Rogerson said.
"It would be a great place for a junior doctor or trainee to internship out there. They could be really shown in the ropes."