More expensive planning work is to continue on Katherine's new "town centre" in Katherine East.
Planning documents for the first "neighborhood centre", basically adjacent the Katherine Research Farm also allow for a second centre in the area with a preliminary location for a new and as yet unfunded Katherine Hospital.
Planners say a new hospital should be located on an extension of Chambers Drive.
The planning goes hand in hand with expensive infrastructure works to allow development of the long debated Katherine East neighbourhood centre out of the flood zone.
Major public buildings like the police, ambulance and fire stations have been located in Katherine East in the drive to relocate vital infrastructure clear of future floods.
"The first neighbourhood centre will support commercial development that caters for the local residential catchment and passing trade," planning documents state.
"The intent of this Focus Area is to support development of a centre that includes a diverse mix of medium density housing with commercial, retail and public open space that supports economic and social activity.
"A limit on the amount of retail floor space is set to comfortably accommodate near-term demand, including a full-line supermarket, without undermining the commercial viability of Katherine Town Centre or the future commercial centre of the second neighbourhood in Katherine East."
Planners have identified two neighbourhood centre sites for future commercial development, one on the Stuart Highway and the second along the proposed extension of Chambers Drive.
There have been plans since the devastating 1998 flood to move the heart of Katherine away from the river to a site adjacent to the Stuart Highway and opposite the research station.
More than $22 million has been made available for the key project designed to be a new town centre free from the threat of flooding.
A tender has been let this week to a Darwin planning firm for $453,000 to fine tune those broader plans.
The Federal Government has provided $11 million to match the $11 million left in the kitty from the sale of TIO for Katherine flood projects.
The neighbourhood centre and a series of levee banks, still to be built, are the big ticket spending items.
This initial project includes important associated infrastructure for Katherine East such as drainage, sewer pump station, water supply mains, a new power substation and poles.
Two new main arterial roads are also to be built in the future.
The first, High Street, will connect the new town centre to existing housing at Casuarina Street; and the second will connect Katherine East to the Stuart Highway.
Under consideration for the Katherine East precinct are a retail centre (supermarket), tourist accommodation, medical centre, aged care, childcare centres, and a special needs school.
According to tender documents, this initial work comprises the construction of a new sewage pump station in Crawford Street, rising main, embankment and interconnecting sewers as well as the removal of the existing pump station.
The sewerage infrastructure required to service the site will connect to existing infrastructure at the Bicentennial Road sewage pump station, as well as upgrades to existing infrastructure in the areas south of the Crawford Street industrial precinct.
It also includes extension of a water main along Stuart Highway to provide service to the new neighbourhood centre.
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