What is the Nowra Riverfront Entertainment and Leisure Precinct?

Nowra’s Riverfront Precinct is bound by Scenic Drive to the north, Hawthorn Avenue to the east, Hyam Street and Graham Street to the south and Shoalhaven Street to the west (outlined in blue on the precinct map  - view the map).

Who prepared the Strategic Direction Review and Analysis report and Proposed Planning Controls report?

The Nowra Riverfront reports were prepared by architecture and urban design consultants, Studio GL.  The Nowra Riverfront project was originally part of a wider project on Nowra CBD Urban Design Development Controls, however the Riverfront Precinct was deferred following the announcement by the NSW Government that they would pursue a new bridge crossing over the Shoalhaven River at Nowra.

Why have the Nowra Riverfront reports been prepared?

The Nowra Riverfront Precinct is a prominent gateway location and the amenity provided by the river and natural surrounds provides a significant opportunity to shape the character of Nowra in the future and strengthen the town’s role as the civic, community, tourism and recreational hub for the region.

The reports have been prepared to set out the desired future character of the precinct, establish overarching objectives and principles, make recommendations for detailed urban design controls and future steps required to enable redevelopment of this important precinct.

What are the overarching objectives and principles of the Nowra Riverfront Strategic Direction: Review and Analysis?

The overarching objectives and principles of the Nowra Riverfront Strategic Direction Report are:

1.  Increasing safety,

2.  Enhancing open space,

3.  Improving connections,

4.  Strengthening the gateway, and

5.  Providing a catalyst for renewal. 

How has the Nowra Bridge Project impacted the planning for the Riverfront Precinct?

Planning for the Nowra Riverfront Precinct commenced in November 2015.  During this time, RMS announced that the third river crossing would be constructed to the west of the existing bridges. On Monday 19 February 2018, the NSW Government announced the Preferred Project Option for the Nowra Bridge Project, however a detailed design is required before the full extent of the impact of the new bridge and highway realignment is known. 

Despite uncertainty around the Nowra bridge during the planning for the Riverfront Precinct, Council is committed to moving forward with the proposed urban design and planning control changes that will enable the redevelopment of this key precinct. The Nowra Bridge Project will continue to be considered and responded to in progressing the proposed planning controls.

How has the Nowra Sailing Club and Wharf been considered in the planning for the Nowra Riverfront Precinct?

The Nowra Riverfront Proposed Planning Controls report incorporates an option for the site of the previous Nowra Sailing Club and Wharf.  Noting that the site is significantly constrained by flood, the consultants have recommended that the site not be redeveloped for uses that would require costly recovery during a flood event. 

The consultant’s option proposes that the site be used for a lightweight picnic facility / pavilion that includes seating, barbeques and public toilets.  The design of the pavilion should have regard to the profile of the previous structure and the signage from the Sailing Club.

The opportunity to provide a space for a ‘pop up’ café or similar on the site as part of any replacement pavilion is also worthy of consideration. This would provide an opportunity for a temporary use/activation, for example in the warmer summer months.

Council will need to receive a further report on the insurance options of the Nowra Sailing Club to determine the way forward for the site.

What did Council resolve when they considered the Nowra Riverfront Reports in September 2018 (MIN18.694)?

It was resolved that Council:

1. Endorse the Nowra Riverfront Leisure and Entertainment Precinct Strategic Direction: Review & Analysis and Proposed Planning Controls Reports as exhibited and with the following changes to the Proposed Planning Controls Report:

a.  Amend the Indicative Future Road Local / Alignment on the key development parameters mapping including the closure of Pleasant Way as per Variation B of the report and illustrate an additional road connection off Hawthorn Avenue to Princes Highway.

b.  Include further justification for the change in Land Use Zone and Height of Building in Scenic Drive, Wharf Road, Bridge Road and Pleasant Way and Graham Lodge sub-precincts in accordance with Section 9.1 Ministerial Direction 1.1 Business and Industrial Zones and 3.1 Residential Zones.

c.  Amend the Bridge Road and Scenic Drive sub-precincts to include additional text which notes that the future development of these sub-precincts will be subject to additional investigation once the detail design of the Nowra Bridge project is complete. 

d.  Amend Figure 43 and supporting text to categorise Bridge Road sub-precinct as Level 3 high level of uncertainty around the impact to development outcomes as a result of the acquisition associated with the Nowra Bridge project.

2. Prepare a Planning Proposal for Mandalay Avenue sub-precinct to amend the Land Use Zones, Height of Buildings and Floor Space Ratio as per the exhibited Proposed Planning Controls Report and submit to Department of Planning & Environment for Gateway determination.

3. Prepare a Planning Proposal for the remaining sub-precincts as per the Staging Plan (except for Bridge Road and Scenic Drive sub-precincts) as per the exhibited Proposed Planning Controls Report and with the following additional considerations:

a.  Reflect the latest Concept Design for the Nowra Bridge Project.

b.  Consider reduction in Height of Building and Floor Space Ratio to address flooding impacts.

c.  Consider B4 Mixed Use as an alternative zone for the Wharf Road precinct, and Additional Permitted Uses to enable the activation of the riverfront.

d.  Prior to submitting to NSW Department of Planning & Environment for Gateway determination, report the matter to Council.

4. Prepare a Development Control Plan Chapter to be inserted into Shoalhaven Development Control Plan 2014 for the Nowra Riverfront Precinct, which includes the controls in the exhibited Proposed Planning Controls Report as per the Staging Plan (except for Bridge Road and Scenic Drive), and:

a.  In preparing the Draft Development Control Plan Chapter:

i.  Review appropriateness and suitability of flood related controls.

ii.  Revise the key development parameters of each sub-precinct to reflect the latest Concept Design for the Nowra Bridge Project.

5. Commence initial preparatory work to clarify the infrastructure required to support the future development of the precinct and inform a possible Contributions Plan Amendment for new road, drainage and open space infrastructure projects and consider a subsequent report on this aspect that details the funding required to advance the infrastructure design work and identifies a Council funding source.

6. Notify all submitters and public authorities of the resolution.