THE power of the people has seen a modified Nelson Bay Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Nelson Bay CBD adopted by Council at what can only be described as a stormy Council Meeting last week.
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Members of the community and the Tomaree Residents and Ratepayers Association (TRRA) were well represented at the Council Meeting.
Councillor Nell’s motion for a modified plan will see built heights capped at 5 storeys in the town centre and 8 storeys on the fringes.
The amended motion was supported 5 votes to 4 with Mayor Ryan Palmer unable to vote due to pecuniary interests.
Councillor Nell told News Of The Area, “The 8 and 5 stories resolution at Council is a good compromise, together with the proposed rate increase to help amongst many other things fund the upgrade of Nelson Bay, including the construction of a new car park, will revitalise our coastal town.
“It being a compromise, there are probably many unhappy people, some undoubtedly did not want any increase in high limits, whereas others wanted a 10 story limit,” he said.
This amendment will see view corridors protected design optimised and increase natural light to the streetscape.
Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington was scathing about the short time limits given to the public to consider the proposal, she told News Of The Area, “Throughout this entire process, one thing has been made abundantly clear to anyone who cared to listen: local residents do not want 10 storey height limits, period.
“Buried somewhere in the hundreds of pages of information is supposedly a proposal to increase heights to ten storeys in some parts of town, but not all.
She believes that for some reason, Council had decided to give residents only a few days to consider this final proposal, which is grossly inadequate in her opinion, and she imagines it’ll be perceived as an attempt to dodge scrutiny.
Meanwhile the TRRA’s President Geoff Washington told News Of The Area, “We will continue to explore all avenues to achieve better outcomes for Nelson Bay, that reflect the principles adopted in the existing 2012 Strategy, and the overwhelming weight of community opinion.”
By Marian SAMPSON