WORK on a new tourist and residential development at Shoalhaven Heads could start later this year if approved.
An application to redevelop the Australian Postal Institute site in McIntosh Street near the Shoalhaven Heads Surf Club went before the Shoalhaven City Council’s Development Committee on Tuesday night.
Staff had sought clarification on a numbers of issues, with council resolving to support policy variations for the proposed eight residential lots, 16 tourist accommodation units and adjoining cafe.
Council has also given staff delegated authority to approve the project.
The proposed development is planned to be undertaken in stages, with the residential subdivision component to be followed by the construction and strata subdivision of the tourist accommodation.
The Postal Institute is developing the residential subdivision, while Kawarra Beach Pty Ltd, run by locals Tom and Michelle Bishop, are constructing the tourist units and cafe.
The site was at the centre of the Heads Sees Red demonstration last year when the institute came under pressure from residents to demolish disused and derelict holiday units on the block.
Mrs Bishop said the project was still not across the line but if given approval in the next four to six weeks could be completed in time for Christmas 2014.
“We have allowed an 18-month construction period and if approved soon we hope to have it operational by Christmas next year,” she said.
“We are working with council staff over the types of dwellings allowed, both design and materials as well as a landscaping master plan for the whole site, including the residential component so they will all tie in together.
“It is an exciting proposal and just because we have got to this stage doesn’t mean we will stop our consultation with the local community.
“Anyone interested in the project is welcome to contact us and we look forward to working with the community to ensure we have a great facility for residents and visitors.
“The Heads is a fantastic place but the nearby golf club identified that accommodation of this standard was lacking and we are looking to establish a sustainable business facility that meets that need.”
Shoalhaven mayor Joanna Gash said she was pleased to see two well-known local residents proposing the additional tourist accommodation development in Shoalhaven Heads.
“The site of this proposed development has been the subject of conjecture within the local community for some time,” Mrs Gash said.
“The approval of this development application will provide the local community with high quality tourist accommodation and residential lots in the heart of the village.
“Council engaged with residents throughout the application process and while there were a number of concerns surrounding issues such as parking, I am confident that these have been adequately dealt with in the proposal.
“This development is a positive step forward for Shoalhaven Heads and will be one that will provide ongoing long term benefits to the local community.”
Some local residents had voiced concerns regarding the proposal, with council receiving 30 individual submissions, of which 24 were against the development.