Government agencies flag concerns on Shell Cove boat harbour changes

Government agencies and Shellharbour City Council’s own regulatory staff have raised concerns about a proposal to increase height limits and housing density at the Shell Cove boat harbour. 

The agency submissions to the NSW Department of Planning are in addition to the 200-plus objections from future and existing Shell Cove residents, who say changes including a 26 per cent increase in the number of homes will affect their lifestyle and views.

In a submission that had not been adopted by Shellharbour councillors, the council’s city planning manager Geoff Hoynes said the proposal could increase reliance on street parking in the suburb’s narrow streets.

The council considers the proposal’s parking space provisions for two-bedroom homes to be “inadequate”, he said.

He also noted discrepancies between Shellharbour council guidelines and the boat harbour concept plan regarding solar access.

The Environment Protection Agency said the proposed changes are unlikely to require a change to the boat harbour’s environment protection licence, but raised issues relating to water quality and sewage management. 

Acting manager of the Illawarra’s EPA operations William Dove said the water quality targets set out by Frasers and Shellharbour council in the modification request “do not represent best practice”.

He also said the proposed change to housing density and diversity could increase the amount of nutrients and sediments flowing into waterways, and recommended the developers ensure specific controls and water treatment measures will maintain the health of these waterways.

Likewise, he said the extra homes “could cause increases in sewage loads”, meaning the developers will need to take steps to ensure their existing sewer system will not overflow and pollute the water.

Roads and Maritime Services criticised the modification application, saying it did not provide enough information to allow the traffic authority to assess the affects it would have.

Southern Region land use manager Sharon Barbaro has asked that a traffic impact study and more detailed concept plans be submitted.

She said the RMS would reconsider the application once these issues had been addressed. 

The NSW Heritage’s Parramatta office said the proposed modification could affect significant views from and to Bass Point Reserve, which – since 2013 – had been listed in the state heritage register.

Hanson Construction Materials, which operates Bass Point quarry, also lodged a submission, asking that NSW Planning be aware of the “state significant resource” before approving any modifications. 

“There is insufficient evidence to conclude that an increase in building height will not result in views looking into the quarry,” Hanson’s development manahrt Andrew Driver said.

“In particular, the proposal to increase the landmark (hotel) building up to 11 storeys presents a significant risk which has not been addressed or mitigated.”