Wollongong City Council staff have recommended an apartment and retail complex in Keiraville be given the go-ahead, saying it will ‘‘contribute positively to the commercial village centre’’.
The former petrol station block at the corner of Gipps Road and Grey Street has been the subject of much community attention over the past decade, after a proposal for 24 units, one shop and two offices was approved by disgraced town planner Beth Morgan in 2005.
In the years since, there were a number of protests as developers unsuccessfully tried to modify the original approval to build 76 student bedsitter units, and a long-running NSW Land and Environment Court case between former owner Tony Prodanovski and Wollongong City Council.
In January the site was sold to a company called BF Investments Pty Ltd and last month new plans, for 17 one and two-bedroom apartments built over three shops and a basement car park for 47 cars, were lodged.
The council’s Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) is due to make a decision on the proposal on Wednesday, with staff recommending it be approved subject to a series of conditions.
‘‘This proposal is considered to respond well to the relevant planning controls and provides opportunity to activate the street within the road reserve of Gipps Road,’’ the recommendation says.
‘‘The development is considered to be appropriately located and is expected to contribute positively to the commercial village centre of Keiraville.’’