CUT TO THE CHASE: Leda Holdings development manager Reg Van Rij says the new Tweed Valley Hospital could be fast-tracked by six months if built at Kings Forest. INSET: The plans show a proposed site for the hospital in orange.
CUT TO THE CHASE: Leda Holdings development manager Reg Van Rij says the new Tweed Valley Hospital could be fast-tracked by six months if built at Kings Forest. INSET: The plans show a proposed site for the hospital in orange. Blainey Woodham

Kings Forest project says it can deliver hospital early

THE developer behind the massive Kings Forest estate says the proposed Tweed Valley Hospital could be delivered six months early and at no extra cost to taxpayers if it is chosen as an alternative site during the extended expression of interest phase.

In an exclusive statement to the Tweed Daily News, Leda Holdings said it would deliver all necessary infrastructure required for the $534million hospital - at no extra cost to the State Government.

A Kings Forest representative said the infrastructure would include power, water, sewerage, electricity, data and "all the basic infrastructure needed delivered to the door of the site”.

The representative said Leda Holdings was confident it could deliver the hospital ahead of schedule as the site already had zoning approval.

"We have a site already zoned, we have a program in terms of delivery of the site. The zoning is a big thing because it gives a huge head start on a site that's not zoned.”

Leda Holdings development manager Reg Van Rij said the Kings Forest team would work closely with the State Government to deliver the hospital.

"We believe we can have the hospital delivered up to six months ahead of schedule, if Kings Forest is the selected site,” he said.

"The site is already zoned, will be above PMF (possible maximum flood level), we will deliver the necessary infrastructure at no cost to the state, and we can work with council to have the necessary Tweed Coast Road upgrades completed in time for the opening of the hospital.”

Kings Forest Hospital plan: The area where the Tweed Valley Hospital would be located is highlighted in yellow.
Kings Forest Hospital plan: The area where the Tweed Valley Hospital would be located is highlighted in yellow.

The Kings Forest project is one of the largest development projects in the Tweed region's history, with plans to develop a massive 4500home suburb alongside a health precinct, town centre, sporting fields and schools.

The new suburb will also include dedicated bus routes and kilometres of walking and cycle paths.

Mr Van Rij said the development could welcome its first residents as early as next year and expected the development to contribute up to $6billion to the local economy in the next 10-20 years.

"We're excited that the vision we have been working towards for more than 15years is finally taking shape,” he said.

"The development will be one of the largest contributors for the provision of new housing and employment within the Tweed Shire over the next 25years, creating thousands of new jobs locally.”

He said the construction of Kings Forest could start as early as February on stages one, two and three of the development.

An additional 24,000 new koala trees would be planted in the area and "substantial funds” committed to local koala conservation to ensure the koala population was maintained.

But kocal conservationists and wildlife experts have previously expressed fears for the endangered Kings Forest koala population, which they fear could be wiped out if proper protection is not put in place.

The announcement comes on the back of Cudgen farmers widely throwing their support behind the Kings Forest project.

They contend it is a better alternative than the hospital being placed on the State Significant Farmland of the Cudgen plateau, believing the Kings Forest site would allow "the community to move into a hospital” rather than vice-versa.

Tweed Shire councillor Ron Cooper has also thrown his support behind Kings Forest as the best option for preserving the region's farmland. Tweed MP Geoff Provest confirmed Leda had met with Health Infrastructure this week but declined to comment further.



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