A PROPOSAL to build an elevated town square on the site of the Egans Lane car park with two-storey parking beneath and views of Cambewarra Mountain would be a game changer for Nowra, according to a former town planner.
Peter Price has been a surveyor for many years in Nowra. He and Sydney town planner Stephen Nall hope to breathe new life into an old proposal.
The idea involves a two-storey car park in Egans Lane on top of which would be a town square with open space and the potential for residential and commercial property with views to Cambewarra Mountain.
The idea is not new; it was supported by council and became council policy in 1999. It had since been buried along with numerous other proposals for development in and around the CBD.
In an attempt to breathe new life into the idea earlier this month Mr Price and Mr Nall submitted a draft application to include the proposal in council’s $100 million Restart Illawarra wish list.
Despite having the support of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber and the CBD Action Committee the proposal was not submitted by council.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said council decided to seek expressions of interest for the site, to see what else was coming up, rather than
submit it as a proposal for the Restart Illawarra funding.
Mr Price said the town needed civic design and pride because in those terms it was going nowhere.
“The town square would be a game changer for Nowra,” he said.
“We don’t need a Woolworths development in the middle of town.
“They’re welcome to be here but it should be on the ratepayers’ terms.
“It’s our town; they should do it our way or bugger off. For example, they could go to Berry Street.
“These centres are retail killers, they close
“Nowra Fair [Stockland] is a classic example. It is a disaster.
“Council got about $500,000 for that land, but how much do they lose in rates in the CBD because businesses have closed?
“I’ve been to America and Europe looking at what can be done.
“We’re 25 years behind what’s happening in the rest of the world.
“Main streets are becoming the place to be all over the world, shopping centres are being located behind the main streets, not in the centre of towns,” he said.