New plans to significantly increase building heights and the number of apartments surrounding the Shell Cove boat harbour could turn the waterfront development into “Lego land”.
That’s the view of some landowners and residents in the highly-sought after area, who will lodged objections to a proposed expansion and reconfiguration of the boat harbour concept plans.
The major changes now on exhibition through NSW Planning include an extra 318 homes – an increase of 26 per cent – and raised height limits for the 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.
Shell Cove developers, Frasers and Shellharbour council, have also proposed an additional permit for serviced and residential apartments within in the hotel building.
Landowner Jason Goodes, who bought a block near the harbour last year, said the increases to building heights would change the “look and feel” of the area affecting those who had already bought in to the area.
“The classic term I would use is Lego land,” he said.
“It’s meant to be a coastal town and this just takes it from that lifestyle which people have paid a lot of money for, and amps it up to be something else.
“If you’re cramming in more and more people, where are those people going to park? And there’s already traffic issues in Shell Cove.
“They’ve put the need for profit and trying to shove as many people as possible into the area ahead of what’s best for the community. Once the developers walk away, we’re the people who have to live here.”
Mr Goodes said he knew of a number of other landowners and residents who were concerned about the new plans.
As the land owner of the marina, Shellharbour council will – without the proposed expansion – make about $70 million in profit once Shell Cove is complete.
Re-elected councillor Marianne Saliba said she was aware of the expansion plans, but noted councillors were not involved in the planning or approvals.
However, she did say she believed extra density and population could help to “activate” the Shell Cove town centre.
She also said any increase in the number of homes would boost the council’s profits but said “we’re not driven by profits, we’re trying to build a new town centre in our city.”
The proposed changes will be open for public comment through the NSW Major Projects website until September 29.