Shellharbour City Hub: Lack of solar options fires up Kellie Marsh

Plans for the Shellharbour City Hub project have been slammed by one councillor over the absence of solar power.

The development application for the $57 million Shellharbour City Hub project was placed on public exhibition on Thursday, with submissions invited until July 2.

The application for the controversial multi-purpose community and civic facility will be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

However, the plans have been criticised by councillor Kellie Marsh.

"I can't believe in this day and age we can build a building of this magnitude without any solar power," Cr Marsh said.

"We all know the benefits of solar power both environmentally and financially, and as a council - and a society in general - we encourage new premises to install solar panels and the council should be leading by example.

The proposed plans for the multi-purpose Shellharbour City Hub project do not include provision for using solar power.

The proposed plans for the multi-purpose Shellharbour City Hub project do not include provision for using solar power.

"Unfortunately, it seems this council is more concerned with the aesthetics of how the roof looks rather than installing solar panels and saving money in the long term."

Cr Marsh called on the Shellharbour community to write submissions if they supported her stance on solar panels.

According to the development application, the hub achieves a "5 star Green Star rating" without the provision of solar power.

"The development has been designed with regard to the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)," the application states.

"The building provides high levels of energy efficiency, thermal comfort, water saving devices and other design measures to limit the environmental impact of the development, and ensure the comfort and amenity to the future users of the building is maximised."

The council's ESD consultant Richard Palmer, of WSD Group, said the focus of the design was on a lean, clean - then green - building.

"The best use of public money is to use passive techniques to the greatest degree possible," Mr Palmer said. "Having said that, on-site renewable energy remains on the table as the project continues.

"It will continue to be considered once a greater cost certainty has been achieved with the early engagement of a contractor."

A Shellharbour council spokeswoman said the building would "have the provision for retrofitting solar panels if and when council wishes to install them".

The controversial hub development, to be located at the corner of College and Cygnet avenues in the Shellharbour city centre, includes a city library and museum, civic square, auditorium, cafe, council chambers and other facilities.