Parking load to be lightened for developers

By Shannon Tonkin
Updated November 6 2012 - 2:01am, first published April 26 2011 - 11:10am
New developments in the Wollongong CBD will have less onerous parking requirements should the city council administrators consent.
New developments in the Wollongong CBD will have less onerous parking requirements should the city council administrators consent.

Wollongong City Council plans to reduce parking requirements for new office and retail developments in the CBD by almost 20 per cent under proposed amendments to the city's planning guidelines.The first instalment of a three-stage review of the 2009 Wollongong Development Control Plan (DCP) recommends that a raft of changes be made to the document to streamline overlapping and contrasting controls and remove those considered to be "too onerous" for developers.Following input from State Government agencies, industry bodies and the community, it has been recommended the present ratio for parking - one car space per 30sqm of (ground floor) gross floor area and per 50sqm (of higher storeys) - be changed to a single figure of one vehicle space per 60sqm.A report to this evening's council meeting says the existing ratio is at odds with the council's access and movement strategy for the city, which concludes that the more CBD workers use public transport the less need for provision of parking for new developments."With the successful implementation and operation of several travel demand management measures, including the Wollongong free CBD shuttle and pay parking both on-street and in council's casual parking facilities, a reduction in retail and office premises parking rates is timely," the document said.CBD developers will also be able to meet their parking obligations by contributing money to council-owned off-site parking, while businesses with a change of use application will not be required to provide more parking in the city centre.Twenty-one submissions to the review identified conflicting guidelines between the DCP and the 2009 Wollongong Local Environment Plan (LEP) and inconsistencies and duplications within the DCP.Many submissions to the review also found development controls relating to front boundary setbacks, single-storey developments on battle-axe lots and variation statements were "too onerous".The report recommends two- storey developments be allowed on battleaxe blocks where appropriate and a softening of front setback guidelines if it is in sympathy with the area.Reports on stages two and three of the review are scheduled for release in June and August.The documents will focus on Wollongong City Centre, landscaping and bushfire management, mixed-use development, business-zone development, sex shops and brothels and waste management, respectively.If the city council administrators endorse the report, it will be exhibited for six weeks for community comments.

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