In 2012 the NSW Department of Planning handed down its recommendation for the link road project which (following advice from the Federal Office of Environment and Heritage) did not support Council’s preferred central route but recommended approval (concept stage) of both the northern and southern routes to proceed to detailed design stage, subject to certain conditions.
The Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) which was then charged with making a final determination on the 3A major project did not accept the NSW Department of Planning’s recommendation to proceed to a detailed design stage with two routes.
PAC advised that after 30 years of Council proposing this project, the community needed some more certainty (i.e. the adoption of one route) and handed down its decision which supported the northern route parallel to West Cambewarra Road, a decision made following a recent Council decision at that time.
A number of factors then led Council to delay the construction of the northern route:
- Another road is proposed to be built (under the adopted Nowra-Bomaderry Structure Plan) linking Illaroo Road to Moss Vale Road commencing at the same location on Illaroo Road but meeting Moss Vale Road several hundred metres to the west.The road proposed under the structure plan (far northern collector road or “FNC”) is not a replacement for the link road but is required in addition to the link road to open up new growth areas under the structure plan
- It is not economic, or necessary to build both roads
- Studies identified that the FNC was located too far to the north to be of any benefit in reducing traffic on Illaroo Road.Accordingly, the RMS did not support the northern option for the link road because of adverse impacts on the Highway at Cambewarra Road and limited benefits for Illaroo Road
The PAC advised Council that it had three months to request the Minister review the PAC decision.
Council did not resolve to challenge the PAC decision, but instead requesting that staff provide a detailed briefing, including additional information about the FNC, and undertake further consultation with the community including a public meeting.
Council’s latest resolution (adopted 19/11/13), that is still current, is that:
- The next steps in the planning process to build North Nowra Link Road Option 3 (Northern Option) and/or the Illaroo Road – Moss Vale Road link (far northern collector road) be deferred until the outcomes of the local planning project control group are more advanced ; and
- Subject to the results of the project control group’s analysis, funding be considered for inclusion in the 2014/15 Operational Plan budget to commence detailed investigations of a route for the Illaroo Road – Moss Vale Road link (far northern collector road ‘FNC’)
(Note – The Project control group is a group established by the NSW Department of Planning to oversee the planning process for the Nowra-Bomaderry Structure Plan and related land release areas).
Since the above resolution was made, Council continues to work (through the project control group) with RMS and Department of Planning regarding infrastructure requirements for the implementation of the Nowra-Bomaderry Structure Plan.
To conclude, construction of a North Nowra to Bomaderry link road is a high Council priority, however, Council has been challenged with the approvals process over a very long period of time.
Council will however continue to do what it can, under its powers, to progress the infrastructure requirements for implementation of the structure plan, and Council remains hopeful this can include a link road, in addition to the FNC and other upgrade requirements to accommodate the planned growth.
Enquiries in relation to this project may be directed to Mr Martin Upitis (Council’s Assets Manager) by phoning (02) 4429 3219.