Shell Cove developments can go up, not out

Up but not out: Shellharbour councillors have refused a proposal to expand the borders of Shell Cove, but have not opposed plans to allow much higher buildings (like the hotel, inset) at the boat harbour.

Up but not out: Shellharbour councillors have refused a proposal to expand the borders of Shell Cove, but have not opposed plans to allow much higher buildings (like the hotel, inset) at the boat harbour.

A majority of Shellharbour councillors have signalled that they will not back away from major changes to the density and height of buildings in Shell Cove, despite growing opposition from the suburb’s residents.

However, they stopped short of approving a developer’s request to expand the sought-after beachside suburb’s boundaries.

At this week’s meeting, independent councillor Peter Moran urged councillors to support him in withdrawing support for planned changes revealed last month.

Read more: Residents warn of Shell Cove 'Lego land' amid expansion plans

In proposed adjustments to the project’s concept plan, Shell Cove developers – jointly Frasers and Shellharbour council – have asked to increase building heights and the density of apartments and houses surrounding the Shell Cove boat harbour.

The revised plan would include an extra 318 homes – an increase of 26 per cent – and raised height limits for the boat harbour hotel and apartment buildings around the harbour’s edge.

This would take the hotel – which will also be moved to a new site at the northern edge of the harbour – from nine-storeys to 11-storeys high, and bump up many of the apartment buildings from four to six storeys.

Cr Moran told other councillors they should withdraw its support for the concept plans changes, and only support a proposal to relocate the hotel development.

Read more: Buyers snap up land lots at The Waterfront, Shell Cove

But his motion was not seconded and lapsed.

At the same meeting, councillors knocked back a different developer's attempt to move Dunmore's suburb boundaries so that their land was included in Shell Cove.

Planning firm Cardno had submitted the proposal to expand the ocean-side suburb on behalf of developers, to "reduce confusion" for residents who will live in their Shell Heights Estate.

The estate is currently within Dunmore - which include's Shellharbour's tip and a train station - but Cardno argued that the suburb boundaries should be moved to place "Shell Heights" within Shell Cove.

However, council staff recommended this request be refused, saying the arguments made about expanding Shell Cove were not "strong" or consistent with the history of the town.

General manager Carey McIntyre said it was considered that "the current extent of Shell Cove is appropriate at this time".

"There's no logical reason to extend the bouadires of Shell Cove in what is now known as Dunmore," he said.

Mayor Marianne Saliba agreed, saying the council could not "go wiping out suburbs willy-nilly at the request of developers".

"Dunmore has been a suburb of Shell for many many years, I would hate to see us wipe out a suburb because someone, a developer, wants to include their development in Shell Cove," she said.