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    Elmstone Property Group's Stuart Benjamin.

Housing development set to proceed

By Sean O’Connell

The development group behind a housing project for healthcare workers in Horsham says it is hopeful of breaking ground soon after a year-long setback.  

Elmstone Property Group director Stuart Benjamin said the development, on a 3.5-acre block facing Byrne and Tucker streets in Horsham, had recently gained council approval. 

“We’re pleased to announce Horsham Rural City Council issued the permit in January to allow the project to proceed,” he said. 

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“We’ve now to comply with that permit, working with referral authorities. Once that’s approved, we can start the build.”

Mr Benjamin said developers would work with referral authorities to re-do parts of the development’s civil design, such as water, sewerage and storm water detention, to meet the permit’s requirements. 

He said Elmstone Property Group had consulted organisations including Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Powercor, NBN, Horsham Rural City Council and GWMWater.

“This particular part of Horsham is badly served by power,” he said.

“We’ve to do a fairly substantial upgrade. It didn’t have the capacity for two more houses let alone our project. 

“The only thing holding it up is sewer plan approval, then the project can make a start.”

Mr Benjamin said the project’s estimated cost was now between $8- and $10-million, with construction expected to begin in March. 

“We are now at the point where we would like to hear from any trades who are interested in taking part,” he said.

“We will be starting the underground works between March and June and home construction between June and July.

“The first of the doctors and nurses should be in late this year and all dwellings finished in 12 months’ time. 

“The goal is always to stagger the delivery.”

Mr Benjamin said the development would house people in the medical profession for a variety of reasons, including students who were placed in the rural city, others who had taken up a full-time position at the hospital and needed short-term accommodation while they looked for permanent housing, and specialists who visit the region for small periods of time each week or month.

He said, once complete, it would be comprised of 36 one-bedroom units, four of which had disability access and eight which could be converted into double units for families.

The entire February 21, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!