Plan for 1500 homes, new town centre on Wongawilli mine land next to Horsley

The land to be developed is south of the entry to the Wollongong Coal mine.
The land to be developed is south of the entry to the Wollongong Coal mine.

A large parcel of Wollongong Coal’s Wongawilli mining land, will be transformed into more than 1500 homes, a primary school, sports fields and a new town centre at the edge of Horsley.

Along with a handful of other rural sites in Horsley and Huntley, the mine land will form a new West Dapto neighbourhood with about 2300 homes in total.

Wollongong City Council will consider the draft neighbourhood plan for the southern part of the site – which contains 736 homes – at next week’s meeting.

This includes 13 hectares of the mine land, as well as about 61 hectares of land owned by AV Jennings and Sundy Investments.

Council staff have advised that developing northern part of the neighbourhood plan – the bulk of the Wollongong Coal land – will require more information before it can be progressed.

For instance, developers will need to submit a rezoning plans and extra details about roads and rail crossings.

The council’s geotechnical engineer has also raised concerns about potential combustible materials contained within the coal fill on site and asked for further investigation. 

An Aboriginal heritage assessment and contamination investigation will also need to be done.  

Council staff have recommended the southern part of the site, located three kilometres west of the Dapto town centre, should be supported at Monday’s meeting to allow development to begin. 

“Council has the opportunity to progress a Neighbourhood Plan for the southern precinct, enabling consideration of development applications,” a report to councillors says.

This area will include a mix of residential densities, block sizes and house types, with higher density homes in areas close to amenities like the neighbourhood centre, public transport routes and public parks.

The homes will generally be built in a grid pattern.

Most of the amenities – including the neighbourhood centre, a potential primary school site and two sports fields – will be in the deferred northern part of the plan. 

A major north-south road will be built along Hayes Lane and Jersey Farm Road, and will then connect east-to-west to Shone Avenue.

If councillors vote to go ahead with the southern part of the plan is will be placed on public exhibition for at least 28 days.

This will allow residents and government agencies to have their say before the results are reported back.

To date in the West Dapto development area the council has approved 10 other neighbourhood plans for eight residential precincts.

This includes 3400 lots, a town centre, a village centre and an industrial precinct.