Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy

The Strategy delivers a vision for change and details the key initiatives and strategies that will guide the Town Centre and Foreshore. The Strategy not only recommends planning controls for future developments and guidance for the revitalisation of the public domain, it also identifies the critical stages and considerations in delivering the Strategy’s vision.

The Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy was adopted by Council on the 24 April 2012.

The Strategy aims to guide Nelson Bay towards becoming more attractive to tourists, the business community and residents.

Progressing the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy: A revised implementation and delivery program

On 25 September 2018, Council adopted the Progressing the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy: A revised implementation and delivery program (Delivery Program) (PDF 4.6MB).

The Delivery Program has been prepared to support efforts by all stakeholders to attract public and private investment to the Nelson Bay town centre. It makes the changes necessary to encourage investment in the Bay, such as amendments to planning controls (e.g. maximum building height limits and the introduction of floor space ratios) and provision for better quality public spaces.

The Delivery Program includes an implementation plan to replace the actions that accompany the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy 2012. It sets a forward direction by listing over 30 recommendations to encourage investment and improve the amenity and vibrancy of Nelson Bay town centre.

Nelson Bay Foreshore image
Nelson Bay Foreshore image

Nelson Bay Planning Proposal

Along with the adoption of the Delivery Program, Council endorsed the preparation of a Planning Proposal to amend various built form provisions within the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013 (the LEP) that apply to land within the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore (the Town Centre) to create opportunities for increased density and achieve the desired built form.

The proposed provisions will deliver actions 1, 2 and 7 of the Delivery Program by:

  • Introducing floor space ratios to control the bulk and scale of new development;
  • Amending the height of building map;
  • Requiring active street frontages for new development; and
  • Introducing minimum street frontage widths for sites in the Town Centre.

The Planning Proposal seeks to create opportunities for the activation of underdeveloped and underutilised sites in the Town Centre. The amended provisions will encourage revitalisation of the Town Centre and complement the activated public spaces the Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan will create.

The Planning Proposal has been lodged with the Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment (DPI&E) for a Gateway Determination. A Gateway Determination is required for the planning proposal to proceed and sets out any public participation requirements for exhibition. A copy of the Planning Proposal can now be viewed on DPI&E's online portal - LEPs Online.

Should a Gateway Determination be issued, Council will undertake any consultation and public exhibition in accordance with the Determination. More information on the plan making process is available on DPI&E's website.


Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan

Streets that prioritise people, a greener town centre and more spaces for the community to enjoy - that’s the exciting new vision for Nelson Bay.

The Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan will be used to guide future investment in the Bay, including grant funding and future works by Council. The Plan implements a key actions of the Progressing the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy: A Revised Implementation and Delivery Program (PDF 4.6MB) and sets out a long term vision for the streets, paths, parks and foreshore around Nelson Bay Town Centre.

The Draft Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan was on exhibition until 28 March 2019. Following a review of the submissions received during the exhibition period, a report will be made to Council.

A Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan Fact Sheet (PDF 4.4MB) summarises the key features of the draft plans.

Council commenced consultation on this project during the exhibition of the Progressing the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy: A Revised Implementation and Delivery Program, and the plans have been informed by stakeholder workshops held with representatives from key community, resident, and business groups. The outcomes of these workshops have been reported in the draft Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan.

We established the Independent Nelson Bay Citizen’s Parking Panel in November 2018. This was a key action of the Progressing the Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy: A Revised Implementation and Delivery Program.

Panel workshops considered parking, access, traffic and related matters in and around Nelson Bay.  The recommendations of the Independent Panel relating to the public domain, including streets and pathways around Nelson Bay have been considered in the preparation of the draft Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan. Read the Nelson Bay Citizen Parking Panel Report (PDF 976KB).

Nelson Bay Implementation Panel

The Nelson Bay Implementation Panel has been established to provide community advice to Council on the implementation of the Delivery Program.

The objective of the Nelson Bay Panel are:

  • to provide a forum to regularly report on progress and share information between Council and the community; and
  • to drive the implementation of the actions contained within the

The Nelson Bay panel is made up of the following members:

  • Mayor Ryan Palmer
  • Councillor Glen Dunkley
  • Councillor Jaimie Abbott
  • Councillor John Nell
  • Greg Smith - Community Representative (Resident)
  • Nicholas Diemar - Community Representative (Business)
  • Richard Casey - Community Representative (Resident)
  • Richard Ware - Community Representative (Resident)
  • Robert Taylor - Community Representative (Business)
  • Council staff from Strategic Planning, Economic Development, and Assets unit