Tower block set to rise on Oxford site

A towering residential and commercial complex will soon adorn the Oxford Tavern site if the regional planning authority follows recommendations made by Wollongong City Council.

The Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) will meet next week to decide whether to allow Sydney-based PSR Crown Investments to build the $38 million development, to be known as Oxford on Crown.

The council has recommended the 14-storey complex - which would comprise 135 apartments in two towers over two levels of commercial space - be granted approval subject to development conditions.

Oxford Tavern development ugly: residents

According to documents to be considered by the panel, the proposed development does not comply with building separation controls under the 2009 Wollongong Local Environment Plan but the NSW Planning Director-General has allowed a variation to these controls.

The developers also received conditional excavation approval from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, because the site is known to be one of Wollongong's earliest hotels, dating back to 1839, and is likely to have involved construction by convicts.

An artist’s impression of the proposed Oxford on Crown development.

If approved, the complex will include 259 underground parking spaces, which meant it needed to be considered by NSW Roads and Maritime Services.

According to the council documents, the RMS challenged proposed pedestrian access points along Corrimal Street, however these have been resolved by putting in a safety fence to prevent pedestrians crossing the busy strip.

In addition, the RMS will not permit traffic to enter the buildings from Corrimal Street, preferring Town Hall Place as the sole access point.

Meanwhile, a $32 million proposal for an 18-storey affordable housing complex in Auburn Street will be rejected if the panel follows council officers' recommendations.

According to documents to be considered at the JRPP meeting, the plan to build 116 apartments and three commercial levels is "contrary to the public interest" because it does not comply with the affordable housing policy's floor space ratios.

The meeting will be held at Wollongong Council Chambers at 12.30pm on March 6.

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