Wollongong low-cost housing plan dumped

An impression of the mixed-use apartment block that replaces the low-cost rental housing proposal.

An impression of the mixed-use apartment block that replaces the low-cost rental housing proposal.

Auburn Street developers have turned their backs on a plan to provide affordable rental housing near Wollongong train station, instead proposing an 18-storey mixed-use apartment block for a site which has been awaiting development for more than a decade.

According to documents lodged with Wollongong City Council, plans to build 116 units - half to be allocated as affordable rental housing for low- to middle-income earners - had been shelved on advice from the council.

In March, the council recommended that the affordable housing development be rejected as "contrary to the public interest" because it didn't comply with floor space ratios.

However, the regional planning authority voted to defer its decision on the proposal, advising the council and developers to take more time to come to an agreement.

At the time, Joint Regional Planning Panel member Alison McCabe said she saw merit in the plans, as low-cost housing was needed in Wollongong's central business district.

However, developers have now resubmitted plans as "the proposed development no longer includes the provision of affordable housing", according to the council website.

"The application has been amended to comply with the shop-top housing provisions as the council does not believe the affordable rental housing bonus applies," the plans say.

According to the NSW government, affordable rental properties are designed to accommodate households with low to moderate incomes. They are usually run by private providers and subsidised by the government, but is not the same as social housing.

If approved, the new development will house three levels of retail and commercial space.

There will be 88 apartments, including 44 one-bedroom, 39 two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom apartments, as well as parking for 142 cars.

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