Wollongong council backflips on flood rezoning plan

Justin Craig found a clever way to travel near the corner of Swan and Evans streets in June 2016. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Justin Craig found a clever way to travel near the corner of Swan and Evans streets in June 2016. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Wollongong City Council has withdrawn its controversial suggestion that the flood prone parts of the southern CBD should be rezoned to prohibit most types of new development.

Contained within its future vision for the South Wollongong precinct, the proposal would have rezoned large blocks of existing commercial and residential land to be “environmental living”.

But, after numerous public objections, council staff have backed away from this idea, reporting to councillors that this section of their vision should be shelved until more work can be done on flood mitigation.

The future vision, released in April, is designed to guide directions for the city area bounded by the railway line, port, ocean and Stewart Street.

Business papers for next Monday’s council meeting show 50 submissions were received about the precinct plan.

Residents argued rezoning would dramatically affect land value, and would not do anything to fix the flood problems which have plagued the area in recent years.

The council has agreed it could “further consider the options for the flood affected areas” and explore options for “some flood mitigation works” before any future rezoning.

Read more: South Wollongong residents get flooded every year and they’ve had enough

Aged care provider Warrigal lodged one of the most critical submissions about the flood land rezoning plan, saying it would be a “knock out punch” for the organisation’s long-held plans to build a seniors living complex in the area.

And while the council has backed away from this particular aspect, it appears Warrigal’s high-rise units will still not be able to go ahead.

Council staff said they did not agree that the land owned by Warrigal was “the right place for higher density housing”.

Read more: Council's ‘knock out punch’ for aged care hub in South Wollongong

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