Residents warm to Keiraville site plans

An artist's impression of the proposed Keiraville complex, which would have 17 units and three shops over basement parking.

An artist's impression of the proposed Keiraville complex, which would have 17 units and three shops over basement parking.

Plans for an apartment and retail complex in Keiraville mark a new way forward after nearly a decade of controversy about what should be built on the village's former service station site, residents say.

The block at the corner of Gipps Road and Grey Street has been the subject of much community attention since a proposal for 24 units, one shop and two offices was approved by disgraced town planner Beth Morgan in 2005.

Since then, there have been a number of community protests as developers unsuccessfully tried to modify the original approval to build 76 student bedsitter units, as well as a long-running NSW Land and Environment Court case between former owner Tony Prodanovski and Wollongong City Council.

However, in January the site was sold to a company called BF Investments Pty Ltd and new plans were recently lodged with the council.

The proposed development would have 17 one and two-bedroom apartments built over three shops and a basement car park for 47 cars, according to documents submitted by AMD Architects.

Resident Felix Bronneberg said this was "a welcome relief" and a much better fit than the previous "bloated, inappropriate development".

"It also indicates it was worth the community fight, and worth the effort for all the people who were involved," he said.

"I know people want to see something put there - it's been vacant for a long time - and I think the majority of people would welcome additional shops there too.

"This was one of the remaining legacies of the corrupt days at the council, so this closes a chapter on that."

Wollongong's neighbourhood forum is due to discuss the development this week, with the meeting agenda saying it is "infinitely more sympathetic to the site and the village" than previous plans.

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