The Housing Trust has made changes to its $50 million plans to build a multi-storey 183-home complex on the old Dapto Public School site, in an effort to get the tick of approval from Wollongong council.
The housing provider has launched a Land and Environment Court appeal over the council’s issues with the huge affordable and social housing development.
Under the amended plans, now on public exhibition, the trust has made number of adjustments to the roads, increased the separation between buildings and added an extra 28 car spaces.
There would be seven fewer apartments and one fewer townhouse than previously proposed.
The organisation has also committed to undertake just under $500,000 in public works – including a $350,000 public park.
However, the housing provider has maintained its view that it should be able to build unit blocks that are double the council’s permitted height limit (11 metres) – and has asked permission to add another metre atop some of the six-level apartment buildings.
The development application says “strict compliance [with the height limit] is unnecessary and unreasonable” and that higher buildings “provide a better urban design outcome”.
The council also raised concerns that the development “has the potential to become undesirable, facilitating crime and anti-social behaviour” as it is in a “high crime risk area”.
In a social impact report, the developers highlighted the benefits of building high density housing near transport routes and services. The also pointed to the creation of the park, with a playground, barbeque facilities and seating, which will be surrounded by public streets and open to the public.
The complex is expected to house 329 people, with more than half of the units to be single person households, and around two-thirds to be rented. About 16 per cent will be social housing rented through the Housing Trust.
Just under 30 per cent of residents are expected to be over 55.
The majority of people (157) will be employed, 121 will not be in the labour force and 17 will be unemployed with the balance aged under 15 years, the report says.
In August, Housing Trust chair David Campbell criticised the council for taking too long to approve housing developments amid growing unaffordability.
“Every time that someone has got a site that they’re trying to put some houses on and it sits there, the cost of the housing goes up,” he said.
The amended plans will be on exhibition through the council’s website until October 25.