Public hearing on controversial Corrimal unit block proposal

A controversial plan to build two double-storey apartment blocks on flood-prone land in Corrimal has found favour with Wollongong City Council planners.

A diagram submitted with the 2017 development application.

A diagram submitted with the 2017 development application.

In a report to Wollongong's Local Planning Panel (WLPP), which will meet this week, council staff have recommended conditional approval for the 30-unit proposal at 39 Angel Street, despite ongoing protests from neighbours.

The complex, located on a large block of land between Williamson, Henry and Angel Streets, would be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes.

The proposal to build the apartments atop basement parking - as well as a separate two-storey dwelling fronting Angel Street - surfaced mid-last year, prompting residents to gather a petition and lodge 36 submissions objecting to the plans. 

They said filling in the "paddock" with housing was "totally out of character" with the suburban area and were worried about the effects of increased traffic and pressure on "already straining" flood and storm water infrastructure.

Developers then submitted amended plans, which attracted a further 10 submissions, again raising issues such as flooding, traffic and the character of the area.

In response, the council has said it is satisfied the development can comply with planning rules by the imposition of a list of conditions.

They said a traffic study included with the plans showed there would be an “acceptable” levels of safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists, and that the parking provided would mean there was no “overspill” onto the street.

They also said the two-storey height and floorspace ratio ensured the unit blocks were low density, which made them compatible with surrounding homes. A privacy screen has been proposed in some of the units to protect the visual privacy of residents on Henry and Williamson Streets, the council said.

"Some of the issues identified in submission though technically unresolved, are considered to have been adequately addressed either through redesign or by way of draft conditions," the planners said in their conclusion.

"Any remaining issues are not considered to be sufficient to refuse the application.

“It is considered the proposed development has been designed appropriately given the constraints and characteristics of the site, is not inconsistent with the existing and desired future character of the locality and is unlikely to result in significant adverse impacts on the amenity of the surrounding area."

WLPP, which will vote whether to approve the development, will meet at a public hearing on August 15.