McCloy Group proposes huge 156-unit retirement village at old quarry site

Overhaul: The former brick pit, as seen from the air. Picture: Google Maps
Overhaul: The former brick pit, as seen from the air. Picture: Google Maps

A disused clay quarry will be transformed into a gigantic, 156-unit retirement village if former Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy’s latest business foray into the Lower Hunter goes ahead. 

The McCloy Group lodged a development application for the massive seniors living centre on Haussman Drive at Thornton to Maitland council in November.

In a statement of environmental effects lodged with council, it is proposed the Thornton site would include a community centre, bowling green, playground, men’s shed, and caravan and RV storage.

The report includes plans for 156 two and three bedrooms villas, with the majority being single-storey and some multi-level to accommodate the slope of the site.  

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The proposed lot at 107 Haussman Drive was formerly used as a clay quarry, but has remained dormant since the closure of the Metford Brickworks in 2006. 

Physical reminders of the site’s former use, such as depressions, drainage basins and steeply excavated embankments, still remain, with a heavy program of earthworks required to make the land usable. 

The Thornton plan joins the McCloy Group’s other concurrent Maitland retirement village proposal – a 99-unit centre at Heritage Parc estate, Rutherford. 

The two proposals would bookend the east and west sides of Maitland with sizable retirement villages. 

With the value of the Thornton project in excess of $20m, approval for application has been forwarded to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), who are also the consent authority for the McCloy Group’s Rutherford proposal. 

A date is yet to be set for a hearing of the JRRP. Residents can lodge written submissions with Maitland council until May 15.