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Current planning controls are ruining Thirroul’s character, says councillor

Wollongong Greens councillor, Mithra Cox has called for planning controls on overdevelopment in Thirroul. Picture: Rodolfo Quiru00f3s on Pexels.com

THIRROUL’S planning controls and heritage listings should be reviewed says Greens councillor Mithra Cox in order to protect the village from overdevelopment.

The Wollongong City councillor said the current planning controls in Thirroul are not working and “charmless townhouses are fast replacing beautiful heritage houses and historic workers’ cottages”.

“We need heritage protection not just for individual buildings but also the character of streetscapes and precincts – before it is too late,” Cr Cox said.

“There is virtually no limit to how many old homes can be knocked down and replaced, meaning that Thirroul village is fast losing all the local character and history that makes it Thirroul.

“Council needs to review the planning controls so that we protect the heritage that is left.”

Cr Cox said there has been considerable angst within the Thirroul community in recent years, as development has intensified, heritage homes have been demolished and traffic has become gridlocked. 

“The transport system is currently at capacity, with roads, trains and cycleways all very crowded at peak times. There is only one road in and out of Thirroul,” she said.

“The trains at local stations run only once an hour on weekdays and once every two hours on weekends, forcing people to drive to an already very congested Thirroul. 

“The coastal cycleway is very heavily used, and on weekends especially is also very crowded. Until solutions for this gridlock on all transport types are found, Thirroul has very little capacity to support increased population density.

“While Councillors cannot intervene in development applications, such as the proposed Thirroul Plaza development, we do have a responsibility to set the overall strategic framework and planning controls, which is what my motion hopes to address,” Cr Cox said.


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About Mick Roberts

A 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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