Shoalhaven City Council has adopted the Nowra CBD Height of Buildings Planning Proposal and Urban Design Development Control Plan Chapter at the Development Committee Meeting on 8 August 2017. The NSW Government’s Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Plan, released in late 2015, identifies Nowra as a ‘major regional centre’ and consistent with this, the adopted package of planning controls apply specific future building height controls for the Nowra CBD.
The Planning Proposal was one of the subsequent outcomes from the Nowra CBD Urban Design Masterplan that was completed in 2010. The detailed development controls that support the new building heights were prepared with the assistance of specialist urban design firm, Studio GL Pty Ltd.
The adopted building heights and supporting development controls aim to encourage greater and positive development in commercial zoned areas of the CBD. The plan allows for building heights of 12, 15 and 20 metres in the CBD which can allow for mixed use buildings (ground floor commercial with apartments above) up to six (6) storeys possible with a 20-metre building height, and four (4) storeys possible with a 15-metre building height.
The adopted urban design controls will guide positive development outcomes through setbacks, façade treatment, consideration of views and heritage, and other area specific controls.
Mayor Amanda Findley said, “This will provide greater opportunities for our regional centre to continue to grow and meet the needs of our community into the future. The plan also acknowledges that we need to protect and conserve our heritage but also provides the opportunity to stimulate economic growth and employment.”
The report also identified the need to consider an independent Design Review Panel to assist in the assessment of Development Applications for certain developments and sizes. In addition, Council will consider a wider Heritage Conservation Area to the west of the Nowra CBD Commercial core area.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia commended Council on establishing a planning framework for the Nowra CBD that reflected Nowra’s role as the key commercial centre for Shoalhaven.