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Cunningham Downs development to start in August

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan has been completed, clearing the way for the Cunningham Downs development to start in August.

IVY WISE July 4, 2014 3:21am

Community for the Aged chief executive Colin Price.

The multi-million dollar redevelopment of Echuca’s Cunningham Downs is expected to start in August following the completion of a cultural heritage management plan.

Echuca Community for the Aged lodged the development application with Campaspe Shire before Christmas, but a cultural heritage report was needed before the application could be approved.

Over subsequent months, consultants worked with Yorta Yorta elders to examine and assess the site for cultural heritage significance.

ECA chief executive Colin Price said the archaeological dig found six scar trees of Aboriginal significance, a muller grinding stone and a Jasper core rock, which has shards that were once used as cutting instruments.

‘‘The trees that were found to be significant,’’ Mr Price said.

‘‘We have to make sure we don’t damage them.

‘‘It doesn’t really affect us anyway because they are in an area that is owned by the shire,’’ he said.

‘‘The report has suggested that the shire put up some signs detailing the significance of the trees.

‘‘The rocks have been taken for the time being and a future process will determine whether they are displayed in a museum or in our new community hall.’’

Mr Price said the report was approved on Friday.

‘‘Initially, the process was expected to take three months, but it’s taken six months,’’ he said.

‘‘This is the last item required by Campaspe Shire to be ticked off, so now we can lodge our planning permit application.

‘‘Given the extensive involvement of the shire in the re-zoning process, we hope that approval is a straightforward process.

‘‘Then we can commence construction, which we hope to start in August.’’

The first stage of the redevelopment, expected to take 18 months, will include 13 two and three-bedroom units, four two-bedroom single-storey townhouses and 15 single bedrooms in assisted accommodation.

The redevelopment will see the addition of almost 200 two and three-bedroom units, at least another 19 assisted accommodation units at Brolga Apartments and another 45 beds to Wharparilla Lodge.

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