Corrimal cokeworks redevelopment would add $750m to region, new documents reveal

Concept plan: The edge of the creek - which is proposed to be realigned to prevent flooding - would be lined with cycle and walking trails and public parks.
Concept plan: The edge of the creek - which is proposed to be realigned to prevent flooding - would be lined with cycle and walking trails and public parks.

Building 700 homes on the old Corrimal cokeworks site will boost the Illawarra economy by more than $750 million, the developers behind the project say.

Details of the massive redevelopment, which is slated to cost more than $230 million to build, are now on public exhibition through Wollongong City Council.

The Illawarra Coke Company revealed it had lodged a rezoning proposal for its 18 hectare site next to Corrimal railway station earlier this month, saying it hoped turn 11 hectares of the defunct industrial area into medium density residential land.

Read more: Rezoning to make way for 700 homes at Corrimal Cokeworks

Tranformation plans: The 18 hectare site next to Corrimal railway station has been vacant since the cokeworks ceased production in 2014. Picture: Robert Peet.

Tranformation plans: The 18 hectare site next to Corrimal railway station has been vacant since the cokeworks ceased production in 2014. Picture: Robert Peet.

New documents show this would be used to build about 180 town houses, semi-detached and detached homes, 515 apartments in buildings ranging from two to six storeys and 195sqm of retail space.

In the proposal to council, the company has requested a height limit of up to 24 metres next to the Corrimal train station, where apartments up to six storeys would surround a commuter and heritage precinct and public plaza.

Through parts of the site which would be rezoned as public recreation, there would be walking trails along the natural creek corridor (which would be realigned to prevent flooding), and a cycle and walking path to link Corrimal town centre to the beach.

An economic assessment included with the rezoning plan says the project will generate 2000 jobs during construction.

A heritage precinct and commuter shops would surround the area near Corrimal railway station.

A heritage precinct and commuter shops would surround the area near Corrimal railway station.

Developers also say the cokeworks development will add to Corrimal town centre, by improving the connection between the town and train station and adding new residents in a younger demographic. 

And with bike trails, public parks and the heritage precinct centred on the old cokeworks brick chimney, the proposal says there will be “a range of social benefits” for residents. 

In a 300-plus page compendium developers have also addressed how the site will be remediated for residential use, detailing the results of environmental tests.

Using a 20-tonne excavator, assessors from environmental firm Arcadis formed 35 test pits, taking samples of soil, water and sediments, and conducted underground gas monitoring across the site.

They found asbestos containing materials in one test pit, and only one soil sample where dangerous chemicals exceeded the assessment criteria limit.

They also said “some surface water samples marginally exceeded the Surface Water Assessment Criteria” but were considered to be on par with an urban enviornment and “did not exceed the recreational or Australian Drinking Water Guidelines”. 

The draft planning proposal is open for public comment until November 24.

Councillors will then decide whether to progress the proposal to the state planning department, with this vote scheduled for some time next year, according to the council.