THE $300 million Cronulla Sharks development proposal has received an enormous boost, with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure recommending it be approved.
This finding was forwarded yesterday to the state government’s independent Planning Assessment Commission, which will make the final decision.
“The department has assessed the merits of this application, taking into consideration the issues raised by the public and relevant public authorities,” its report said.
“The department is satisfied the site is suitable for the proposed development and the project will provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the region.”
Sharks’ chairman Damian Irvine relayed the news to supporters by tweeting: “Wow! endorsement from a dept of qualified experts, result of over 12 months research. Humbled, proud of our team, trusting the process now.”
Sutherland Shire mayor Carol Provan was disappointed.
“Once again, we are being told what to do by the big boys and we will have to put up with it,” she said.
“Personally, I think it will be a disaster down there.”
Councillor Provan said the council would put its arguments again to the Planning Assessment Commission, “but will they listen?”
Cronulla MP Mark Speakman wanted to read the 63-page report thoroughly before commenting in detail.
“At this stage he maintains his opposition to the size and scale,” a spokesman said.
The department said the key issues were the suitability of the introduction of a new centre in the region, its economic impact, traffic and parking impacts, environmental impacts and interface with Woolooware Bay, and built form and residential amenity.
Independent advice had been obtained from economic and traffic consultants on the key issues.
“The department supports the introduction of the proposed centre on the basis that it addresses significant demand for retail floor space in an area where it has been identified that existing centre [sic] are unable to cater for this demand,’’ its report said.
“Critically, the subject site provides an appropriate location for the proposed concept plan.”
The report said the department was satisfied the additional traffic could be accommodated within the existing road network, the built form was appropriate in the context of a new centre and environmental impacts could be minimised.
It supported, in principle, proposed measures for off-site parking on game days.
“The concept plan is recommended for approval, subject to modifications and future assessment requirements,” the report said.
“As sufficient detail has been provided in relation to the proposed subdivision of the retail and club portions of the site, it is recommended that no future environmental assessment be required for this component of the proposal.”
Do you agree with the recommendation?