New direction for Oak Flats CBD begins

Shellharbour councillor Peter Moran wants to enhance the existing shopping area of Oak Flats. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Shellharbour councillor Peter Moran wants to enhance the existing shopping area of Oak Flats. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Concerns over the impact of Stockland Shellharbour's $330 million redevelopment on Oak Flats town centre appear to have been unfounded.

Twelve months after the redevelopment finished there are signs Oak Flats' CBD can not only survive, but thrive in the shadow of the giant shopping centre.

Shellharbour City Council is in the process of preparing town centre plans to guide the development of its major centres.

Plans for Albion Park and Shellharbour Village were endorsed by the council earlier in the year and preparations for Oak Flats are about to begin.

Shellharbour councillors will nominate for a place on the Oak Flats project control group on Tuesday night.

Putting his hand up will be councillor Peter Moran who is a long-term resident of Oak Flats.

Cr Moran, who served on the control group for the Albion Park plan, believes the Oak Flats plan could take a different direction to the first two adopted by the council.

The Albion Park plan had a focus on encouraging new development in its CBD, while the Shellharbour Village plan looked at enhancing the village's dining and retail attributes and creating greater pedestrian links, particular with the harbour.

Cr Moran said he believed the Oak Flats plan would look at ways "to protect and enhance" the existing Oak Flats shopping area.

"We currently have a thriving shopping area ... we need to encourage it as a real alternative to Shellharbour Square," Cr Moran said.

"We have an active progress association and the businesses such as the Bendigo Bank are doing some good things.

"The plan process could well look at heights and floor space ratios, but I think in the case of Oak Flats it is important to recognise it is one of the area's original villages."

Cr Helen Stewart is president of the Oak Flats Progress Society.

"This is something we have discussed and I would say most people are happy with the current style of the precinct and the streetscape," Cr Stewart said.

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