Council has abolished an overhead charge which once prevented some prospective business owners from setting up shop in the Shoalhaven.
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Previously, in line with councils across the state, Shoalhaven City Council would charge a new business repurposing a building thousands of dollars, which would fund car parking facilities for their customers.
For instance, if a business-owner wanted to rent an office space previously used for retail purposes, they would have to stump up a large sum when reclassifying the building.
This charge was non-refundable.
“Infrequently it’s a show-stopper meaning business does not go ahead,” Shoalhaven Councillor Greg Watson said.
On October 30, council waived car parking requirements for change of use development in traditional retail centres.
“This is a policy change I have been trying to get though council for several months,” Cr Watson said.
“Because we have struggling traditional shopping centres, I thought this would give them a bit of a shot in the arm and fill some of the shops again.”
The changes apply to some shopping centres at Basin View, Bawley Point, Berry, Bomaderry (Lyndhurst shops and town centre), Burrill Lake, Callala Bay, Callala Beach, Culburra Beach, Currarong, Erowal Bay, Greenwell Point, Huskisson, Kangaroo Valley, Milton, Mollymook, Mollymook Beach, North Nowra, Nowra (Kalandar Street and CBD), Sanctuary Point, Shoalhaven Heads, St Georges Basin, Sussex Inlet, Ulladulla and Vincentia.
The policy aims to encourage change of use development in the short term within Shoalhaven’s traditional retail centres, creating more employment and retail opportunities and the associated community benefit.
Cr Watson believes the policy will give a competitive advantage to small to medium businesses which have been under pressure from the major players.
“When Woolworths and Aldi start trading at West Cambewarra Road, it will put additional pressure on our shops,” Cr Watson said.
“We don’t want to end up with ghost towns.”
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