Stockland, Australia’s largest diversified property group and a leading Retirement Living provider, has entered into a partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, to renew Our Lady Help of Christians Church and School through providing a much needed retirement living community and a 21st century learning environment for school children in the heart of Epping (NSW).
Located on the site of the existing heritage church, parish offices and primary school, fronting both Oxford and Cambridge Streets, plans for the future mixed-use community include approximately 200 retirement living apartments, 132 aged care beds, a brand new primary school for 220 students and a renewed community and parish building comprising a parish hall for 400 people and parish office facilities.
Stockland’s CEO of Retirement Living Stephen Bull said, “With Epping continuing to be one of Sydney’s fastest growing areas for young children and over 60s*, I’m pleased we’ve been able to enter into this partnership to collaboratively create a vision for a residential community for older Australians, a brand new 21st century primary school and renewed facilities for the local parish.
“Our development proposal, which we plan to submit later this year, responds to growing population demand in the area. The site for the proposed new community is within walking distance to rail, which will soon be upgraded to Metro, and the Epping town centre. We know seniors want to be part of a vibrant, thriving community close to public transport, shops, clubs, cafés and restaurants, and we want to provide options for people to remain living in the communities they know and love as they age, close to families, friends and services,” Mr Bull said.
Catholic Parish Priest of Epping and Carlingford, Fr Peter Dowd said, “In response to the development of our much-loved local community, the parish took time over a number of years to discern its vision for the future and its engagement with the wider community. Our parish including our school community, expressed a keen desire to ensure Our Lady Help of Christians, Epping would remain a place of welcome for the entire community, including additional open and green space amidst the surrounding new residential developments.“
“Further, we hoped to respond to community need, such as seniors living, renew our school and parish offices, provide for much needed parishioner car parking on site and explore the possibility of the new parish hall being available in some way for use by the wider community.”
As part of the plans the existing, heritage-listed church will be preserved and celebrated, with the church’s position as the site’s focal point further enhanced throughout the precinct design.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to create a multigenerational community where people can interact and add much value to each other’s lives. We’ve been discussing ideas such as a communal community garden for the school, parish and retiree residents, volunteer opportunities for the residents at the school and cross generational learning such as technology sessions run by the students for the older residents,” Fr Peter continued.
Stockland has over 65 years’ experience creating communities across Australia. With 65 retirement villages nationally, Stockland is a top three retirement living operator nationally, and offers quality homes in connected, supportive communities. Today, over 12,000 residents call a Stockland retirement village their home.
Plans for the new precinct include:
- A new one-stream primary school to the south of the church, with provision for a second stream should it be required
- A new parish hall and parish administration building to the north of the church
- A new residential community including 200 independent retirement living apartments, and 132-bed residential aged care facility
- A priest’s residence
- Retail space for potentially a café or shop
- Open space, including green space – greater than what is currently provided
- New parish and school car parking located in the basement.
* The Hornsby Shire LGA is showing evident growth with those aged over 60 and households with children, with both categories above the greater Sydney average. www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/78307/Trends-Report-Hornsby-Shire-Council-A-shire-of-opportunity-McCrindle-2015.pdf