Plans for Hunter Grange at East Maitland to go before Maitland City Council

Paul Unicomb at the site in March, 2016. Picture: Simone De PeakA proposed 450-lot seniors’village for East Maitland is a step closer to reality, after the NSW Department ofPlanning gave its consent for the major development to go ahead.

The state authority issued a planning certificate for the $160 million projectdubbed Hunter Grange, which will be built on about 40 hectares nearMount Vincent Road.

Developer Paul Unicomb said his organisation, which has almostcompleted major work on Walka Grange atRutherford, was preparing a development application to submit to Maitland City Council for the first 134 units nearWilton Drive.

He said he hoped to submit the DA “within the next couple of weeks” and ground would be broken as soon as he received council approval.

“Our intention is, to take all our earth moving machinery [from Walka Grange] over to the site at Wilton Drive and getmotivated to start,” Mr Unicomb said.

“We’ve got 125 expressions of interest. We feel as though the site is in a commanding spot there.

“It’s an area where people want to be –we are straight out the door and not far from the new freeway [Hunter Expressway], not far from Green Hills so we’re really excited.

“With the success we’ve had with Walka Grange, we intend to continue that with Hunter Grange.”

Mr Unicomb said the first stage would involve developing the lower part of the site, which did not have any trees or other complicating factors.

“[The application] did take a bit of time and there were various issues that were addressed but we didn’t seem to have any great obstacles,” he said.

Mr Unicomb told Fairfax Media last year that he expected the project would create 150 jobs during construction and 30 ongoing roles once it was complete.

At the time, he described Hunter Grange as “a super senior’s living village” that would include club houses, independent living quarters and a nursing home facility.

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