Is the Church selling its land?

No, the Church will retain ownership of the site.

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.

Father Peter Dowd and the Parish engaged in considerable consultation and the decision was made to actively participate in the changing dynamic of the local area. 

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.

Will the Church be retained?

Yes, the Church will be retained.

Central to the whole design of the proposed redevelopment has been the significance of the Heritage church. The School and Parish Hall has been set back from the street to ensure the Church is the central building.

The heights of both the School and Parish Hall have been designed to be lower than the Church, to ensure the significance of this beautiful heritage item is celebrated as part of the redevelopment.

Will the Church still operate during construction?

Yes, the Church will still have the same masses as it currently does, although the entrances may be reduced while the front and side pavements are upgraded.

What is the difference between Retirement Living and Aged Care?

Retirement living refers to Independent Living Units, while aged care refers to a nursing home with registered nurses on staff, all meals provided and assistance always on call.

How many Independent Living Units and Aged Care beds will there be?

The Development Application proposes 172 Independent Living Apartments and 132 Aged Care beds.

Why does the floor space of a Seniors Living apartment need to be larger than a Residential apartment?

Seniors Living apartments require some extra space to accommodate accessibility and adaptability, and larger units tend to be more desirable for this demographic.

What community facilities are provided for the Retirement Living component?

There will be a large clubhouse included in the building for the 172 retirement living apartments.  The clubhouse will include a resident-operated bar, indoor heated swimming pool, gym, craft and meeting rooms, cinema, billiards, indoor and outdoor lounge areas, and a dining area. It will feature two outdoor areas, including outdoor seating for both dining and relaxing, a BBQ area and vegetable gardens.

Just a lift-ride away, the clubhouse will be a great place to socialise with friends and family.  Activities such as yoga, aqua aerobics, mah-jong, bridge, arts and craft can all be arranged.

Where will the current students go while their new school is being built?

An agreement has been made with St Agatha’s in Pennant Hills for students to use part of their school for the temporary Our Lady Help of Christians school.

How big will the new school be compared to the current school?

Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Primary Epping was founded in 1908, and currently educates students in a one-stream (one class per year) environment.

To inform the plans, the Catholic Schools Office Broken Bay completed demographic analysis to determine the size of the renewed primary school.

The proposed redevelopment will be designed for the school to grow to accommodate around 400 students in the future, when there is demand.

How tall is the proposed building?

The building is proposed to include a five-storey podium housing the aged care facility, with the clubhouse and independent living units above. The maximum height of the building is proposed to be 29 storeys.

The proposed design of the tower to be slimmer but taller form provides a better outcome in terms of preserving view corridors and reducing overshadowing. The School and Parish buildings are lower than the height of the Church, and set back further from Oxford Street. It will also allow space for the school to expand to a second stream in the future. The additional height does not provide additional apartments. We have not exceeded the floor space allowance for the site under the existing planning controls.

Will there be interaction between the residents and the students?

We are excited about the opportunity to create a multi-generational 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.

Will there be direct access for the residents to Oxford Street?

Yes, the Development Application plans include private access for residents and the Parish through to Oxford Street.