An artist's impression of the new Park Beach Medical Centre.
An artist's impression of the new Park Beach Medical Centre. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Doctor orders new medical centre

A $5 MILLION medical centre with space for 20 doctors has received development approval from Coffs Harbour City Council.

The medical centre, with 20 surgery rooms and pathology and pharmacy facilities, will be built on the site of the present KFC fast food restaurant, on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Park Beach Road at Park Beach Plaza.

The present KFC building will be demolished and a new KFC will be constructed in the car park north of the present site.

Construction is expected to begin shortly after Easter on the centre, which has been designed by Coffs Harbour architect Vil Brickman.

Steve Gooley, the general manager of the Bachrach Group which owns and operates Park Beach Plaza and HomeBase, said Coffs Harbour was currently short of about 15 doctors and he hoped the new centre would attract at least 10 brand new medicos to the area, as well as enticing 10 existing Coffs Coast doctors to relocate.

He said he expected the majority of interested doctors to be GPs and he hoped the new medical centre would be ready to move into by November.

Bachrach Group senior director Max Naumburger said they had made a medical centre the group's next project because of the interest from the potential head tenant.

Health care services company Healthscope Limited will be involved in the proposed centre and a company representative will be in Coffs Harbour tomorrow to hold talks with Mr Gooley

Healthscope is engaged in the provision of healthcare services through the ownership and management of hospitals and medical centres and the provision of pathology services.

The timing of the medical centre is significant.

Park Beach Plaza is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its opening this year.

The regional shopping mall was given approval by the Coffs Harbour shire council of the day more than three decades ago with a number of conditions attached, one of which was that the shopping centre was not permitted to have doctors' surgeries.

The then council was concerned that the Plaza would divide the town if permitted to provide services outside its core business of retail sales.

A development application approved early last year for a similar medical centre proposed by three local businessmen as a renovation and redevelopment of the former site of The Warehouse in Harbour Drive has not proceeded.

There are unconfirmed reports a DA will shortly be lodged for redevelopment of that site for a single major tenant.

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