Anglicare's $300 million proposal for a retirement development on seaside land at Thirroul no longer includes the townhouses that the aged care company had wanted to build first.
Information sessions on Anglicare's latest plans will soon be held in Thirroul, weeks after nearby residents were invited to similar meetings.
The latest information contains no mention of townhouses at all - and the Mercury understands this is because they have been dropped from the plan.
Instead more adaptable seniors apartments are planned.
"The development will feature 229 independent living units designed to provide 'care in place' so that local seniors can stay in their new home as their care needs change," Anglicare said.
"The development will also feature a residential aged care facility providing 41 much-needed beds for seniors in the northern Illawarra."
Anglicare had sparked some cynical reactions in 2017 when the company, which had planning permission for a retirement village, tried to get 57 townhouses approved as a "modification" to the approval.
The revised plan would have been entirely different. Once a purely aged care and retirement development, the new concept showed the northern portion - about half the 8.1ha site, including the plum "ocean view precinct" - now set aside for standard townhouses.
In 2018 Anglicare said at the time it had "reviewed the market for seniors housing" in the area and no more was needed.
Something has changed, be it the seniors living market, the outcry from Thirroul residents, or new information about traffic requirements if the population were to suddenly grow, and the plans have once more been revised.
Less clear is the vital matter of the bridge out to Bulli.
Residents and planning authorities have demanded that a second road out must be provided if Anglicare is to proceed, as the northern part of the estate only has the narrow Wrexham Rd for access.
Adding hundreds more dwellings would worsen an already badly congested area, especially during construction when hundreds of truck movements would be expected.
Nearby residents say this amount of construction traffic would not be safe all going through Wrexham Rd.
Both Wollongong City Council and the department formerly called Roads and Maritime Services (now Transport for NSW) made it clear in 2021 that the road link must be built as a condition of development.
Thirroul Village Committee secretary Annette Jones said the first information sessions suggested the bridge would be built after the dwellings were complete - which residents said was unacceptable.
"This will need to be completed early in the project," Tony Horneman said.
"This will reduce truck traffic through McCauley's estate, and provide a second access to McCauley's estate."
Anglicare's development manager Daniel Jukic said the company wanted to understand any issues or concerns residents have.
"Traffic congestion, parking and the timing for the construction of the Tramway Creek Bridge have also been noted as prominent issues," he said.
Comment is being sought from Anglicare about the timing for the bridge construction, and the townhouses being deleted.
The information sessions will be held at Club Thirroul at on Wednesday, November 8 at 5pm, and Friday, November 10 at 9.30am.
People are encouraged to register by Friday, November 3, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 965 985.
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