It has attracted extensive social media comments, has been condemned by local community groups, and labeled an ugly eyesore.

Now the 40-meter crane on Church Street in Nelson Bay’s central business district has been notified by Port Stephens Council.

In a notice presented at the May 11th session, Eastern Parish City Councilor Glen Dunkley called on the city council to investigate how to remove the idle Nelson Bay crane as soon as possible. It has towered over Nelson Bay for four years.

But they don’t need to worry, says Port Stephens crane owner and prominent developer Rod Salmon, with a new $ 85 million development application on the site that is expected to be submitted to the council within a few weeks .

Known as Ascent, the redesigned development – which is expected to be up to 33 meters tall – would include 80 luxury two- and three-bedroom apartments and four penthouses.

“We want to create a quality development that people can live in and not rent outside of vacation rentals,” Salmon said.

“If we can get DA approval from the council before the end of the calendar year, we could look at a building certificate by February and start building in March 2022.

“The development will then probably take two years.”

The crane, which has towered over Nelson Bay for the last four years, is set to return to action with the submission of a new development application.

Mr. Salmon hired GHD Woodhead architects and local contractor Drew Constructions to carry out the work.

He believed the time was right to start construction in Nelson Bay as unit prices had caught up with the booming real estate market.

“We had to abandon our latest plans due to the economic downturn and uncertainty about building height limits. We are better able to cope with the number of retirees looking for a life on the coast,” he said.

Mr Salmon is no stranger to the Tomaree Peninsula having recently developed the Talmora Project in Nelson Bay.

He also has investments in the Nelson Bay Cinema and the former Caltex site.

The Sydney-based developer has an existing DA for 17 units at a location on Government Road in Nelson Bay and plans to have 23 apartments at 17-19 Yacaaba Street.

In response to Cr Dunkley’s announcement, the report said that although the crane has not been used for active construction in some time, “it has a valid development permit”.

Rod Salmon with the crane in the background.

Rod Salmon with the crane in the background.

“The community has raised visual and safety concerns about the crane,” Salmon said.

“After discussions with the owner, we are actively working to promote development on the site.”

The report found that the council had limited compliance actions in relation to the visual impact of the structure and that the crane was registered with SafeWork NSW by the end of 2021.

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