Residents in the narrow cul de sac of Morton Parade are outraged over the proposed site for a new Centrelink office, which they fear would cause increased traffic on their already busy street.
Stockland submitted a development application to Shoalhaven City Council proposing the office be built in the Stockland Nowra Shopping Centre's car park.
The new office, which would replace the Centrelink in the Nowra CBD, is proposed for 32 East Street, in the southwestern corner of the Stockland centre near homes on Morton Parade.
Ian and Jane James, who have lived at their Morton Parade home for over 20 years, said the street, the majority of which has no curb or guttering, is already difficult to access.
"When there's cars parked here, especially when they're on either side of the street, you have to access the street by driving through the middle," said Mr James.
"There is no parking here, even on the weekends. During peak periods, you have four wheel drives parked up on the grass.
"It's only going to get worse."
Mr James believes there are other vacant buildings in the Nowra CBD and in the Stockland mall that would better suit a new Centrelink office.
"This is a residential area. There is a lady in her 90s that will be 200 metres away from that building," he said.
"It's not the fact that it's a Centrelink, either. There just shouldn't be any development there full stop.
"Also, not all buses go to Stockland. You would have elderly pensioners or people with disabilities trying to access Medicare or Centrelink by navigating their way through the car park. It doesn't make sense."
According to the proposal, the construction of the building will remove 17 existing car parking spaces at the Stockland mall, bringing the total car parking spaces to 791.
A spokesperson from Stockland said they are "continuing to work closely with Council regarding the proposal and are committed to working with the community to address feedback around parking."
Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said council won't support the proposal as it currently does not meet objectives of stormwater infrastructure.
"Stockland have been told that their solution to the stormwater isn't going to work which would basically kill the DA," said Cr Findley.
"They have to get the stormwater right because it could cause serious damage to the building."
Cr Findley said she "completely understands" the concerns of Morton Parade residents but added if the office is constructed, signage may alleviate their traffic concerns.
"After a while, people who use Centrelink are generally people who return to the service a fair bit. As soon as people understand they can't access it from Morton Parade, with some good signage, it shouldn't be an issue in the longer term."
It is expected Stockland will soon put the application to newly-elected councillors.
If approved, the building is expected to be complete by 2023.
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