How High? Is High Rise Coming to Nelson Bay?

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12 December 2017:
Council decision to release Draft Nelson Bay CBD Town & Foreshore Plan Including lifting height restrictions. (click on the links below)
Newsletters: – 04 December23 December 31 December and Press Release: – December 2017 A high Rise in Nelson Bay?  The story so far.

Posted 05 June 2017 – Full update on Implications of Council Decision

‘Increased height slips through-but mostly not fatal’ – The implications……….

Details of the February 2017 Review of the  Nelson Bay Town and Foreshore Strategy are covered in this post: Nelson Bay at the Crossroads with links to relevant documents and the TRRA submission.

TRRA believe that this review was initiated in the mistaken perception that the original Strategy, finally adopted by Council in 2012 after a lot of hard work and input from residents, was too restrictive to attract developers to reinvigorate the CBD, and a review focusing on lifting height restrictions would remedy this.

We believe that this would have the opposite effect, most of the recommendations in the 2012 strategy were about making the town more attractive to permanent residents, and we know that the high rise apartments that are here already only have a 25% Occupancy rate. The 2012 strategy just needed implementing, not changing, to make the place more attractive. Retention of the natural amphitheater of the Bay and ridges is critical to this place staying attractive. Traffic management and parking requirements were covered in the 2012 strategy, but never implemented.

Port Stephens Council has failed to use the Section 94 Infrastructure development funds that it has collected over the last thirty years from the development that has taken place, to provide adequate parking in the Nelson Bay CBD for residents and businesses.  They must have spent a lot of the money elsewhere. This is subject to a GIPA (Freedom of information request) by the Nelson Bay NOW group to find out where it went. We will keep you updated on this. (Don’t hold your breath though!)

The Commercial Development arm of Council has been trying to offload this responsibility onto prospective developers with the lure of Public Private Partnerships or by just gifting them the publicly owned land the current Council Car-parks are on (as in the current proposal in 2017) since 2003. The trade-off to incorporate the existing parking requirements, plus the parking generated by the development itself, results in proposals (encouraged by senior Council Officers) that far exceed the hard fought (five storey) height limits  agreed to in the Nelson Bay Town and Foreshore Strategy adopted in 2012. This has now manifested itself into proposals for 17 and 21 storey buildings, with above ground parking of 3 to 4 storeys because above ground is half the price of underground parking. If this is the only way to bring developers here, this community needs to think long and hard about that.

The Public Private Partnership proposed in 2008, and secret negotiations going on since 2015, as revealed in the Examiner recently, Examiner 14 Feb 2017: Bay sites reaching for the sky make the current LEP a joke. The ink was hardly dry on the 2012 strategy before they were working to overturn it.

We followed up on the ad in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2015 and scored a RFP document which included this invitation: “The current “Height of Buildings” applicable to both sites is 15 metres however any development proposal will be considered on its merits including social and economic benefits.” Request For Proposals – Commercial development sites at Nelson Bay 2015

Any wonder that they received the proposals that they did. 21 Storeys is only about 85 -90 metres…………..

TRRA Submission 13 March 2017:
Nelson Bay at the Crossroads: TRRA Final Submission on Nelson Bay Town and Foreshore Strategy

TRRA Planning Sub Committee


10 April 2017 – PS Council Staff recommend Councillors Jump the gun on DA for Church Street Apartments

Posted 10 April 2017

23 Feb 2017 – What do you want Nelson Bay to be?

Council plan to ensure the future prosperity of Nelson Bay CBD by removing restrictions on building heights and density in order to boost permanent residential development, fails to convince ratepayers.

 How High? High -Rise In Nelson Bay!

Examiner 14 Feb 2017 – Artists Impression……….. We’ve added the second tower at Donald St West…………

TRRA Meeting 21 Feb 2017:
PS Council Planners given the message about High-Rise in Nelson Bay CBD at TRRA Meeting

A TRRA meeting addressed by PSC Town Planners was attended by over 200 ratepayers, two East Ward Councillors and local media last night (Tuesday 21 Feb 2017) at the Nelson Bay Bowling Club. The topic on everybody’s mind was the Council’s review of the Nelson Bay Town and Foreshore Strategy. The view expressed by the Mayor and the Group Manager, Commercial services in the local press, that removing restrictions on building heights would attract more developers to the area, based on a perception that this would revitalize the town was comprehensively rejected by the many speakers from the floor…… Press Release and. Link to TRRA Position Paper below.

Forum 3The Last TRRA  General Meeting was held, 7:00 pm, Tuesday 21 February 2017 Nelson Bay Bowling Club , over 200 ratepayers attended. Agenda. News Letter HERE. Minutes and Presentation are HERE

TRRA Meeting Notice: Do you want Hi-Rise in the Nelson Bay CBD?  TRRA Flyer 30 Jan 2017: How High? General Meeting 21 Feb 2017  

‘Strategic planning staff of Port Stephens Council attended the TRRA General Meeting on Tuesday 21 February (7:00 pm Nelson Bay Bowling Club) and gave a presentation on the Nelson Bay Strategy Review Discussion Paper, which will be on formal public exhibition from 13 February to 13 March. This Report was considered at the   13 December 2016 Council meeting – see: DISCUSSION PAPER – PROGRESS OF THE NELSON BAY TOWN CENTRE & FORESHORE STRATEGY   Click on the links in the ‘Documents Library’ on the right side of the page for documents. You can fill out a form to make a submission here but we recommend that you do it by  email in your own words to

21 Feb 2017: This is TRRA’s provisional position– for assistance of members of the community who are encouraged to make a submission (by 13 March) using these Key Points
15 Feb 2017: Bay sites reaching for the sky

Points for discussion at General Meeting 21 Feb 2016


 How High? High -Rise In Nelson Bay!

Examiner 14 Feb 2017 – Artists Impression……….. We’ve added the second tower at Donald St West…………


How High? Community faces critical decision on Nelson Bay Building Heights.

Posted 24 Jan 2017

Major Issue!: Have your say at our 21 February TRRA Meeting – More to come……..

Discussion Paper – Progress of the Nelson Bay Town Centre & Foreshore Strategy

The updated version of this document has been posted on the Council website today (13 Feb 2017) on on this link and is on exhibition from 13 February – 13 March 2017 . (Click on the links on the right of the page for the documents). Council Planners will attend our TRRA General Meeting, 7:00pm Tuesday,  Nelson Bay Bowling Club to discuss this important document and its implications for building heights etc. Please notify your friends and come along, this is a public meeting.  

Nelson Bay Planning – Some Thoughts   –  Bob Young

Past TRRA President Bob Young’s contribution to the current planning debate – 20 Feb 2017

  How High? Media Reaction……..

Examiner 11 May 2017: Developer Rod Salmon ready to build apartments on stalled Donald Street ‘holes’ 

Examiner 17 April 2017: Church Street apartments on hold in Nelson Bay after rescission motion 

Examiner 07 March 2017: TRRA pushes for strict height limits in Nelson Bay CBD

TRRA Opinion Piece

Eaminer 28 Feb 2017: Port Stephens Council confident in building better future for Nelson Bay 

Examiner 23 February 2017: Port Stephens Council wants ‘design excellence’ for Nelson Bay 

Examiner 23 February 2017: Tomaree Business Chamber floats tourist bus stop vision for Donald Street 

Examiner 23 February 2017: Nelson Bay development concepts raise fears among TRRA and Tomaree Business Chamber

Examiner 14 Feb 2017: Bay sites reaching for the sky

Examiner 14 Feb 2017: TRRA meeting talks heights 

Examiner 14 Feb 2017 : Letters To The Editor – Economics 101 – Supply And Demand

Examiner 14 Feb 2017: Show us the money’: Bay businessman

Examiner 7 Feb 2016: Eight  DecemberIs The Sweet Spot….. 

NOTA 07 Feb 2017: Building Height limits on agenda at Tomaree Ratepayers and Residents Association meeting

Examiner 07 Feb 2017: Opinion – Mike Makintosh PSC – Nelson Bay CBD: Something must be done 

Newcastle Herald 01 Feb 2017: Nelson Bay looks to higher calling

Letters to Examiner 17 Jan 2017: Height rings alarm bells – Nigel Dique , ecconetwork Port Stephens

Letters to Examiner 31 Jan 2017: Prosperity no reason – Jan Wilson

Letters to Examiner 07 Feb 2017 (Response) : DAs Rubber Stamped

Examiner 31 Jan 2017: TRRA urges caution on Nelson Bay height restrictions

TRRA Opinion Piece

How High?

Examiner 11 Jan 2017: Donald Street and Church Street apartment sites have faced historical financial and planning challenges


Examiner 11 Jan 2017: Plans progress for Church Street and Donald Street apartment buildings


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