The developers behind the controversial $60 million bid to redevelop Thirroul Plaza have responded to criticism, lodging more documents with Wollongong City Council to back their case.
However, despite community concerns that the proposal was too large and out of context with the already congested village, the applicants have not scaled down their plans.
In revised documents on exhibition through Wollongong City Council, the developers have maintained their plan to build 82 units across four blocks of up to three storeys at the prominent Lawrence Hargrave Drive site.
The site will also include a larger Coles than the one already in place at Thirroul Plaza and 13 other retail tenancies.
However, they've made a number of "design changes" and lodged extra technical reports to address government concerns about traffic, heritage, and how the massive complex will fit within the village.
The look of the building has been adjusted, so that there are two buildings - instead of one large mass - facing Lawrence Hargrave Drive separated by a large stairway which leads to communal open space.
It's still 82 units and the visual impact is still going to be pretty imposing, it's a similar bulk and structure. The escarpment views are still blocked and the changes they've made seem like a fairly minor concession to the restoration of views.Resident Stephen Le Bas.
"The gap also provides glimpses to the escarpment behind," consultants for the project said.
The south western edge of the building, where it meets WF Jackson Park, has had the floor to ceiling height of the ground floor reduced.
In response to concerns about traffic generation developers have proposed upgrades to the Lawrence Hargrave Drive network, including traffic lights at the intersection with King Street.
They said this would "result in a very minor increase in though travel times on Lawrence Hargrave Drive however this is deemed to be offset by several other safety and efficiency benefits on the corridor".
"Based on the above assessment, and subject to the compliant design of parking and access layouts, it is concluded that there are no significant traffic or transport impacts associated with the proposed development to preclude its approval and relevant conditioning on transport planning grounds," the traffic assessment said.
Thirroul resident Stephen Le Bas, who has been leading the community response to the plans, said he was disappointed in the developers response.
"In reality, just looking at it, nothing has changed in terms of the fundamental community concerns," he said.
"It's still 82 units and the visual impact is still going to be pretty imposing, it's a similar bulk and structure. The escarpment views are still blocked and the changes they've made seem like a fairly minor concession to the restoration of views."
"Our concerns have not been addressed in any way, shape or form and it will still have the same effects on the village character."
"We really hoped for a more sympathetic development at this site, which could become a real asset for Thirroul."
The new plans are open for comment through the council until September 30.
Mr Le Bas said he had requested that the council extend this exhibition period, as he believed the plan was too large and detailed for residents to digest and respond to in that period.
"There's so much to wade through and only 21 days, and it's a development which could have wide-reaching effects on the community," he said.
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