Town fears run high
While the TRRA may not speak for residents of low rise Corlette, they certainly do for those directly affected by 10-storey high rises in Nelson Bay.
If the “build it and they will come” attitude is exemplified by the lonely crane on Church Street, then future high–rise apartment blocks, possible all the way from Apex Park to Dowling Street, will only add to the 75 per cent vacancy rates that now exists outside peak holiday times.
Those other 300 people that attended the TRRA meeting on March 6 must also have been impressed by the quality of the presentation given, one that was backed up by Census data and other relevant facts, which far exceeded the “vision thing” presented by Port Stephens Council.
Commendation should also go to two of the three East Ward Councillors, Abbott and Nell, who not only spoke at the meeting but voted against the strategy and so represented the views of those constituents directly impacted by the plan.
I am not a member of TRRA but am tempted to become one after hearing such a well constructed argument, which was not NIMBY [not in my backyard] but a worthy suggestion to maintain the five-storey limit nearer the waterfront and terrace development heights along the contours of the amphitheatre that is the Nelson Bay CBD.
Colin Couper, Nelson Bay
Proof of population needed
For the sake of balance, in response to Richard Casey's views (TRRA 'doesn't speak for me, Examiner, March 15 2018), I am not a member of TRRA (although I am a member of the Shoal Bay Community Association) but I certainly strongly feel that the height limits in the Nelson Bay town centre should not be changed from the existing limits.
And talking to many of my friends, acquaintances and neighbours, they too agree with retaining the existing heights.
I certainly accept that more investment and economic activity needs to be attracted to Nelson Bay and that increasing the resident population will contribute to this aim; however, the evidence (ABS statistical data together with statements from local real estate agents and body corporate agents) indicates that 10-storey apartment buildings are likely to have a low permanent resident occupation rate with around 70 per cent being empty for the majority of the year.
Mr Casey says "the golden rule for any retail is population" but neither he nor the council address how 10- storey apartments will meet this aim given the historical occupancy rates.
Despite Mr Casey's assertion, I do not believe that I am NIMBY, but I do not want to spoil the wonderful environment in the Bay’s area for no change in the economic viability of the retail spaces.
Mr Casey and the Council need to provide evidence that the apartments in the proposed building will indeed have permanent occupants.
David Wilson, Shoal Bay
Don’t open floodgates
I think Mr Casey would be far happier back where he came from or living on the Gold Coast.
Allowing [10-storey] development of Nelson Bay CBD would open the flood gates and I am very, very sure he is aware of the possibilities.
We live in a democracy and if the residents do not approve, that’s the way it has to go.
It’s only that residents fought a bitter battle with big money and politicians this is not a coal port.
Imagine 180,000 tonne ships with 2,000 tonnes of fuel aboard arriving and departing daily.
For those who arrived on the last bus take, some history lessons and have respect for those who saved what we have today. We like to think this is a town for families and those who visit.