A plan to build 16 new homes on "the last remaining large contiguous parcel of residential zoned land in Wollongong's northern suburbs," has angered residents, who say it "shows a startling insensitivity to the character" of Wombarra.
Wombarra Vista Pty Ltd has submitted plans to Wollongong City Council to develop vacant land between the railway line and Lawrence Hargrave Drive, next to Coledale Hospital.
They hope to divide the land into lots ranging in size from 455m2 to 3,500m2, and construct a new public road off Lawrence Hargrave Drive.
Large retaining walls will be built to allow for development on the steep block, and an earthworks operation will involve the removal of 40,000sqm of fill from the site, the plans say. A large amount of vegetation will also be removed
The developers say their plans will help relieve "housing pressure" in the northern suburbs.
"The 1.9ha site is well serviced by local amenities and facilities and presents a unique opportunity to provide additional home sites in an area under increasing pressure for more housing stock, but with very little capacity to deliver same," the development application says.
But a petition against the proposal argues the "tiny coastal village" will not be able to sustain the proposed homes.
"It is one of those unique places with a small area of coastal vegetation and protected native flora and fauna," it says.
"The scale and number of homes proposed for the site is inconsistent with the surrounding area and will ruin the character of the neighbourhood and overwhelm such a tiny community."
Since it was started six days ago, Evan Plakias' petition has received 560 signatures. Supporter Simone Ireland says the "current infrastructure is unable to support more development in the area, not to mention impact on environment", while David Roach says the plans show "a starling insensitivity to the character of this place".
According to the developers, they had originally hoped to build an 18-lot estate which would have had a more extensive footprint than what is now proposed.
However this was downgraded after a meeting with council officers in March, who raised issues about the impact the development would have on the scenic environmental quality of Wombarra.
They also said the removal of 40,000 cubic metres of fill from the site would have "significant adverse environmental impact" and advised the developers to explore other designs.
The plans are open for comment via the council until December 6.
[This] will ruin the character of the neighbourhood and overwhelm such a tiny community.Petition against the development