THE construction of a multistorey all-day car park in the Nowra CBD has taken a large step forward, with the project declared shovel ready – but is it?
Concept plans for the multi-million project on the Berry-Worrigee streets site have been completed and a meeting of the Nowra CBD Action Committee was told on Wednesday all the project was waiting for was funding of $10 to $12 million.
The meeting, chaired by deputy mayor John Wells, was told designs had been drawn up, will include a lift, and was shovel ready.
But Shoalhaven City Council assets manager Martin Upitis, said while the project was progressing, it was still a way from being shovel ready, as a development application was yet to be lodged.
“Council’s consultative planners are gathering all the necessary reports to allow a DA to be submitted,” he said.
“The design is based on the plans from four years ago, with a few additions.
“We have tried to anticipate some of the possible objections from the Berry Court residents and include them in the revised plans.
“We have tried to address things like reducing the amount of overshadowing, noise and fumes impact.”
It is anticipated the DA will be lodged sometime during October.
“It then needs to be approved to be shovel ready, and would be waiting on funding,” Mr Upitis said.
Nowra CBD Car Parking Development Committee and CBD Action Committee member Lance Sewell said it was great news the project was progressing but funding was now needed.
“The multistorey car park is mentioned in the 10-year plan but we need it sooner than that,” he said.
“The 10-year plan is virtually the Never Never, and unless we and the public make sure council is aware how much this is needed, nothing will happen.
“We are not concerned how much council makes from parking fines, but we are concerned about the inadequate parking and the $660,000 that is being drained out of spending in Nowra each year due to fines.”
Berry Court representative and Nowra CBD Action Committee member John Watts conceded residents had “lost the war” over the car park and it would be constructed as soon as funding became available.
“Council has made some concessions for Court residents in regards to setbacks and possible fume issues but they will not preserve the quality of our lives,” he said.
“There will still be a huge impact on the shading of the building, especially the lower level.
“In some cases they will be in shadow until around the middle of the day or early afternoon.”
He said residents were concerned about the possible noise, especially at night if the car park was not secured, describing it as a possible “skateboard central”.
“If it is not secured we will have to put up with all sorts of clatter and crash and raunchy language at all times of the night, as well glare from lights,” he said.