The owners of seven commercial buildings that were lost in the New Year’s Eve bushfire in Mogo, on the NSW South Coast, will receive pro-bono support from planning and traffic experts, Ethos Urban and Complete Streets, to ensure the rebuilding project does more than just re-establish the heritage town’s charm.
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s strategic land use coordinator Nathan Farnell said council had met with building owners who lost their properties, and heard that onsite parking, bushfire protection measures and street-front setbacks were important concerns.
“Ethos Urban and Complete Streets saw the difficulties as their opportunity to contribute to our recovery, and generously volunteered to help,” said Mr Farnell.
“They will conduct a review of both the village and the regulations, looking at avenues to reduce the time and cost of rebuilding, and streamline council’s development assessment process.
“Then they’ll demonstrate how building constraints can be handled, providing property owners and council with streetscape designs that maximise Mogo’s economic and social opportunities.”
Shop owner and Mogo Village Business Chamber president Richard Adams described the project as “instrumental in rebuilding shops and providing the community with hope”.
“This will allow us to get back to some kind of normal,” he said.
Ethos Urban’s principal planner Brendan Hoskins said his company would draw on its integrated design and planning services – economic, social and urban – to help frame the village rebuild.
“That means redeveloping the bushfire-affected parts of Mogo to retain its unique charm, but also capitalising on opportunities that benefit this special village,” he said.
Mr Farnell described the project as exciting, expecting a “quick turnaround, just three months to deliver”.