MidCoast Council approves redevelopment of Fisherman's Wharf site at Forster

MidCoast Council has approved the demolition and redevelopment of the Fisherman’s Wharf site in Little Street, Forster.

R T Hunter on behalf of the owner Lormine Pty Ltd lodged a development application to have the existing structure demolished and replaced with a two-storey restaurant, cafe and dive shop. The restaurant and bar will be located on the top floor.

The proposed hours of operation will be 8am to midnight and the development will be constructed wholly over the water.

Neighbouring businesses include the Amaroo Cruise wharf, the Red Spot Boatshed and restaurants.

Bryan Barber lives in a unit on Wharf Street, overlooking the site and he told Mid Coast Council’s December meeting he will suffer loss of views. He was also concerned about parking – or a lack of it. He told council parking was already a problem in this area and the development would make it worse.

Council report states that the site is in the Forster commercial zone and under the Forster District S94 Contributions Plan, a contribution equivalent to nine car parking spaces can be levied. S94 contributions are for developments that increase the demand for public amenities and public services.

The owner will be required to pay almost $187,000 in S94 contributions, including $169,500 for parking. 

The development had the potential to put Amaroo Cruises out of business, said Digby Dunn, a solicitor with Stacks representing the owner of the Amaroo.

He said the Amaroo skipper foresaw difficulty docking the boat when north-easterly winds prevailed, which they do in summer.

Mr Dunn said a “minor redesign” would avoid conflict.

The owner, Ronald Hunter told council he has owned Fisherman’s Wharf for 50 years and had been planning the redevelopment for many years now. The architect of the redesign, Kevin Snell said the site “has been a bit of a wreck for some time.” 

Council accepted the recommendation to approve the application, subject to conditions. The vote was eight votes for, three against.