Support for elderly, disabled centre in Bayswater

Coming soon: Mandi Hyland outside the organisation’s future home in Cullis Parade, Bayswater. Picture: Lucy Di PaoloWHAT DO YOU THINK? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
Nanjing Night Net

AN organisation for the elderly and disabled expects no community opposition to its plan to move into a disused property in Bayswater.

The not-for-profit group Bridges Connecting Communities is intending to buy 13 Cullis Parade – the former home of Eastern Palliative Care – from Knox Council for $450,000. Earlier bids to redevelop the site have failed due to a perceived resistance from the local community.

Mental health support group Halcyon planned to relocate from Ferntree Gully to the site in 2009 but cancelled the move because it feared a backlash from the street’s residents.

The council’s plan in 2010 to sell the land for affordable or social housing also caused anger.

Bridges chief executive officer Mandi Hyland said her organisation had been looking at buying the site for some time.

“We’ve had a residents’ meeting and we understand they’re very happy with our application. We’ve been very transparent about what we’re going to do and about how much traffic will be around the site.”

Cullis Parade residents’ group spokesman Derek Thomson said the proposed centre for social groups and activities was perfect for the street.

“That’s great, that’s the kind of thing we want. I’ve spoken to everyone in the street, and they’re all delighted. We’re going to help them, too. We’ve been cutting the grass, and I’ve been the nightwatchman.”

Ms Hyland said Bridges had five sites across Knox and the organisation was looking to consolidate into one place. The Cullis Parade site has been vacant for about seven years.

Ms Hyland said refitting the building would cost $100,000 and could be finished by Christmas. “There’ll be lots of renovations, lots of working bees and hopefully the community will be involved in helping out.”

A council committee will hear submissions on the sale on May 8.