A new 90-room hotel with mountain and ocean views and four restaurants opening onto the street at Wollongong’s city edge forms part of the CBD’s “desired future character”, Wollongong council planners say.
However, a large high-rise apartment block in the fast growing area around Atchison Street – to the south of the city – should be knocked back as it does not comply.
These are the council’s recommendations ahead of a Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel meeting on Friday, which will determine the outcome of the two large developments.
Together, the plans are worth more than $65 million.
The council’s hesitancy to approve the Atchison Street building has prompted legal action from the developer.
If approved, the 87-room hotel would front Young and Belmore Street, with food and drinks premises on both streets.
There would also be 47 apartments in the complex – with those on the top levels said to have mountain or ocean outlooks – and more than 150 car spaces.
According to the council’s report, the developers – Gear Up Properties – have amended the original building design after meeting with the council’s design review panel (DRP) three times since plans were lodged last year.
This has resulted in a “well resolved” plan which would “be consistent with the desired future character of the commercial core of the Wollongong City Centre”, the council said.
In another report to Friday’s meeting, council planners said a 14 storey “shop-top” complex, which includes a 60 place child-care centre and is proposed for 31-33 Atchison Street should be refused.
The council said the applicant – Affinity Property Investment – did not submit all the required documents when plans were lodged last year.
The council said three letters had been sent asking for the required extra information, but when these were not received the council invited the developers to withdraw their plans.
Affinity then submitted amended plans and appealed the council’s decision in the Land and Environment Court.
However, they said these plans “greatly exceed” the council’s development controls regarding density and setbacks.
Additionally, the design and amenity of the street frontage and entry to the child care centre is “poor” and there are various issues with the amenity of apartments.