A Shoalhaven Heads man has unveiled grand designs for the Shoalhaven River waterfront in Nowra, a decade in the making.
Local landscaper, champion wakeboarder and proponent Johny Vynes has plans for a ten-storey boutique commercial and residential precinct, estimated to cost more than $100M .
The project incorporates private and Crown Land on the southern side of the Nowra bridge from the Nowra Sailing Club (east) to Shoalhaven Street (west).
“My vision is for Nowra to be an amazing adventure-lifestyle destination for local families and visitors,” Inspired Property Partners co-director Johny Vynes said.
“It came to me about 15 years ago, I was on the river (wakeboarding) a lot as a kid, looking at different boating, infrastructure and landscape aspects, thinking the river is probably the greatest asset the Shoalhaven has.
“I want to see it develop into a really good livable, social space.”
Mr Vynes has worked with consultants, engineers and Wollongong-based PRD Architects and consulted private landholders, the Aboriginal Local Land Council and Shoalhaven City Council to develop the idea into a workable plan.
He said a Sydney-based private investor and a number of local investors were committed to funding the project.
While admitting the designs are undeniably bold for the Shoalhaven, Mr Vynes was quietly confident, with state government approval, the project would go ahead.
“It’s taken many, many years to get it to this stage,” Mr Vynes said.
“Upfront it shocks a few people, but the people I have been able to tell are excited.”
He wowed Shoalhaven City Councillors with a deputation at the development committee meeting last week.
Councillors praised Mr Vynes and backed his idea, including Greens mayor Amanda Findley.
They passed a motion to endorse the Nowra Riverfront Leisure and Entertainment Precinct Strategic Direction.
Mr Vynes said it was a relief to present the project to council, after keeping a firm lid on it for years.
“What we’ve been planning the last two years has been highly confidential, due to privacy of landholders,” he said.
“It’s an elated feeling, I can openly and honestly talk about it.”
He said council, which has conducted flood and traffic management studies, has been integral in lifting the idea off the ground into a workable plan.
“The last 18 months we’ve been in regular consultation with council, they've been our primary source of consultation,” Mr Vynes said.
“It’s nice to have recognition of a prominent development in town, and council support.”
Shoalhaven Council has consulted the community about changes to planning controls on the foreshore and identified a number of key themes derived from community submissions including:
- Accessibility, including accessibility of the Shoalhaven River for non-motorised water sports and pleasure craft use
- Improved connectivity between both sides of the Highway and with the Nowra CBD
- Preservation of heritage – particularly Graham Lodge, Old Nowra Bridge, Kilsyth (dwelling), Uuna (dwelling), and Rodman Cottage
- Open Space infrastructure provision
- Overdevelopment of the riverfront and inconsistency with the human scale and character of Nowra
Vote on the development committee motion
FOR: Crs Jo Gash, Findley, Patricia White, John Wells, Nina Cheyne, Kaye Gartner, Bob Proudfoot and Council’s general manager Russ Pigg
AGAINST: Cr Greg Watson