Formal plans for the Shellharbour City Hub are expected to be lodged next month, but criticism of the project continues with opponents taking aim at the ‘‘garishly oversized’’ offices proposed for the mayor and general manager.
Plans for the $57 million project will be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, but aspects of the design detailed in the business case of the hub have angered members of the Stop the Hub community group which has collected a petition with more than 6000 signatures opposing the hub project.
Shellharbour accountant Mark Jones pointed out the 70 square metre office proposed for a general manager and 40 square metre office proposed for the mayor both came with private ensuites, including showers.
‘‘In the area taken up by the mayor and general manager’s offices you could fit the entire city strategy and corporate strategy teams ... that’s 21 staff,’’ Mr Jones said.
Also facing criticism is a proposed 50 square metre yoga room and a 75 square metre cardio room for council staff.
‘‘Lavish additions like this just reinforce the view of many people that the main beneficiaries of the hub project will be council staff, not the community,’’ he said.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said while she had no input into the design, mayors regularly welcomed large delegations from community groups.
As for the proposed exercise rooms for staff, they would be located underneath the offices utilising a basement space.
‘‘We have an obligation to ensure the health of staff, these aren’t extravagant spaces, these are just rooms people can use to do some exercise or craft or any other purpose used by the staff for their well-being.
‘‘I don’t know how those words [yoga and cardio] were allocated to those facilities, but I don’t have a problem with it ... it is only space.’’