Turning the eastern end of Addison Street into a one-way street and removing the 35-space car park on the harbour foreshore are proposed to develop the character of Shellharbour Village.
The Shellharbour Village Centre Plan, which has been endorsed by Shellharbour councillors, identifies poor pedestrian connectivity between the business centre along Addison Street and the harbour foreshore as a hindrance to the village's ability to fully prosper.
"The plan outlines ideas that council could consider adopting to attract more people and enhance the features of the village that could in turn stimulate economic growth," Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said.
The major initiative in the plan is to develop "a pedestrian prioritised environment" that includes a shared street on Addison Street between Wentworth and Wollongong streets.
The street would allow limited one-way vehicle movement while linking pedestrian and commercial activity with the foreshore.
Removing the foreshore car park would improve views of the harbour and create more public open space along with links to Addison Street.
Encouraging facades to be more open and inviting to improve the night-time economy and evening outdoor dining opportunities is also recommended.
Cr Saliba said establishing the Roo Theatre and Shellharbour Village Exhibition Space as the cultural heart of the village is advised under the plan.
Building materials, colours and textures are recommended to enhance the seaside heritage character of the town.
"The Roo Theatre is recognised as an important part of the social fabric of our city and plays a significant part in our cultural entertainment opportunities," Cr Saliba said.
The plan does not bind the council to the recommendations however it will be used as a basis for future policy and planning reviews.
Defining village's point of difference
THE origins of Shellharbour Village date back to 1851 when the private township of Peterborough was registered to service the settlers that had made their homes around the harbour.
After the arrival of a post office, the original name was dropped and the village renamed Shellharbour after the abundance of shell grit found on the foreshore.
In the 1890s Shellharbour Village suffered a downturn as the development of the railway saw Albion Park overtake Shellharbour in commercial importance.
In the 21st century the village is facing new commercial challenges from neighbouring centres, including Shellharbour City Centre and the redeveloped Stockland Shellharbour at the city centre’s heart.
In coming years a new and shiny waterfront development at Shell Cove is expected to compete with the village for tourists.
Shellharbour City Council strategic planner Michael Tuffy said plans to establish the village as a conservation area were knocked back by councillors in 2012 during the recent local environmental plan process.
‘‘Shellharbour Village is important because it has historical significance,’’ Mr Tuffy said.
‘‘There needs to be some sort of direction as to how we encourage redevelopment and give incentives but at the same time preserve what is important.’’
Mr Tuffy said moving forward Shellharbour Village needed to have points of difference.
‘‘The plan is about getting a good variety of retail usage, alfresco dining and restaurant-type activities.
‘‘We see that one of the points of difference is the quaint eat street type environment...it already has that character and the village plan builds on that character.’’
This story on the Shellharbour Village Centre Plan was accompanied by a map which showed a proposal for a one way street along Addison Street.
‘‘There is no proposal in the endorsed centre plan for a one way section of Addison street between Mary Street and Wentworth Street in Shellharbour Village,’’ a Shellharbour City Council spokeswoman said.
A major initiative in the current plan is the recommendation to develop a pedestrian prioritised environment that includes a shared street on Addison Street, but this will only be for the section of the street between the intersections of Wentworth and Wollongong Street.