The site of West Dapto’s future town centre has been contaminated by lead and other chemicals from shotgun pellets and clay targets leftover from the former Illawarra Clay Target Club.
In an application to Wollongong City Council, developers say the 4.2 hectare site next to Stocklands’ estate Brooks Reach must be remediated before shops and medium density housing planned for the so-called “Bong Bong Town Centre” can go ahead.
According to the application, lodged by Cardno on behalf of Bong Bong Town Centre Pty Ltd (BBTC), the former recreational shooting club left behind lead pellets shot from gun cartridges.
The has resulted in lead contamination which exceeds acceptable levels, according to a remedial action plan for the site.
Additionally, “polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” and tar from clay pigeon targets have leached into the ground and contaminated soil at the site earmarked for the town centre on Bong Bong Road.
To remove the contaminated soil and prepare the land for development, BBTC has proposed to knock down existing buildings, remove fragments of asbestos sheeting, remediate the land and undertake tree clearing activities.
Consultants recommended lead contamination be dealt by consolidating and containing the soil in cells at the north-western part of the site.
This was adopted as the preferred option, according to the plans, as it reduces costs associated with transport and offsite disposal, and can be done quickly by civil contractors.
However, it may also negatively affect property values and will require the implementation of a long-term site management plan.
According to the remediation plans, BBTC – a subsidiary of Vinta Property Group – hopes to create an “outdoor pedestrian street lined by retail premises and mixed uses”.
“The vision incorporates a range of retail commercial and residential uses along with more community focussed spaces and associated uses,” the plans said.
The town centre adjoins the southern part of Stocklands’ Brooks Reach housing development, and would have views sloping down the hill towards Marshall Mount and Huntley
The company said it had consulted with residents in Brooks Reach and other nearby developments in December and January about the remediation plan.
The work would be done by about six employees at any one time, from 7am-5pm on weekdays and 8am-1pm on Saturdays,
The development application for site remediation will be on exhibition through Wollongong City Council’s website until May 5.