Councillors have agreed to restrict development above ground level on 59 Owen Street, Huskisson at a Shoalhaven City Council Development Meeting on Monday.
Councillors have recommended Council adopt the draft Huskisson Foreshore Masterplan with changes to remove the four development scenarios for 59 Owen Street and to identify priority projects to implement the Wider Town Centre Concept Plan.
“During the community consultation period, submissions and survey responses indicated a large amount of support for some of the proposed objectives including upgraded amenity and facilities at Voyager Memorial Park, improved through-block connections, activation of the foreshore, and a new activated promenade as part of Voyager Memorial Park upgrades,” Mayor Amanda Findley said.
“It would have been a great shame to lose this valuable commentary from our community.”
The draft Huskisson Foreshore Masterplan was publicly exhibited for two months from 15 June to 10 August 2016 and a total of 440 submissions, 325 completed survey forms and 115 written submissions were received.
The results showed 81 per cent of all respondents identified ‘protecting the view’ as one of the two most important issues for the Huskisson foreshore precinct.
“The work that was undertaken by Council staff was acknowledged and applauded due to the difficult circumstances that they had been handed to work under,” Mayor Amanda Findley said.
“This is a good result for the community. We have listened to what you have said and are acting upon the results.”
Using the information and community feedback gathered during the preparation of the draft Masterplan, Council will prepare a preferred option for the site that is consistent with the proposed community classification and maintains the view.
The decision follows a presentation at Club Jervis Bay on Saturday, which saw development proponents deliver a conceptual plan to the community.
Stefan Pajak from Huskisson was one local upset about the development.
“I just love the place and I’ve been up and down the whole East Coast, I do a lot of travelling and this is the only place I have found where I want to set up my roots,” he said.
“That magnificent view we have behind us would be totally spoilt with whatever they did. I’ve seen so many little towns up and down the East Coast where Council’s greed and lack of imagination and developer greed has spoilt everything.
“All the nice views have gone, all you see is development.
“That [59 Owen Street] was taken over by the council for the people because the people didn’t want it developed. So why is it going down this process?
“You are saving the view for a few elite who can afford to live there.”
Norman Webb from St Georges Basin also attended the meeting and said the overwhelming majority of people were against the proposal.
“People are quiet angry about it, including myself,” he said.
“We’ve got a perfectly good RSL Club and we’re going to demolish that and move it across the road and build a building for rich people.
“It just doesn’t make sense, we will lose most of the view and it’s an abomination.”
Director of i Architecture Colin Irwin is responsible for managing the design.
“The no’s were very vocal, but encouragingly there were a few people who were prepared to stand up and support it as well,” he said.
“My view is there might have been forty people who were against it out there and maybe 10 for it. But there’s probably another 2500 more people at home who did not have a concern about the development who didn’t come.”
Mr Irwin said the proposal would provide better views and facilities than are currently available.
“The proposal generally seeks to establish an underground development for a relocated club underneath a public terrace, which would go all the way forward to the front boundary towards Currambene Creek and that would be fully publicly accessible,” he said.
“There will be a coffee shop on that terrace owned by the club, that would service the tourists, so it is essentially a viewing platform overlooking for the best asset they have in the area, Currambene Creek and Jervis Bay.
“This site [Club Jervis Bay] would then become a development site for commercial based retail and tourist accommodation as well and some permanent accommodation.”