News

Council rejects Helensburgh housing estate proposal over environmental concerns

The site earmarked for a housing development at Helensburgh

WOLLONGONG City Council has unanimously agreed not to support a draft Planning Proposal for the Lady Carrington Estate South precinct at its Council meeting on Monday.

Council voted not to support the Proposal for the site in Helensburgh that has a long and complex history.

Council did not support the proposal for a number of reasons including that it has been considered unsuitable for low density residential development since the 1980s, it wasn’t an identified site for housing within the Wollongong Local Strategic Planning Statement or the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan, that development would increase hard surface runoff into the Hacking River Catchment, and that the proposal would increase housing development and population in an area with a high bushfire risk.

In addition, Council also noted the significant community opposition to the proposal.

“This is an area that has a long history and a proposal that has been considered by Council in a number of forms over the years,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“I am sure this position by Council will be welcomed by the large number of community members who took the time to share their feedback during the latest round of community engagement on this proposal in December 2019 and January 2020.

“I am sure the fact that this proposal was for an area that identified as having significant bushfire risk was not lost on those providing feedback at a time when our state was facing a bushfire emergency.”

Of the feedback collated during the preliminary community consultation, 86 per cent of the 224 comments and 236 submissions made through Council’s website objected to the rezoning and development of the area.

Council’s decision can be reviewed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment at the request of the developer.

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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