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Developers aim for ‘green-star rating’ for Corrimal Coke Works residential proposal, while community continue to raise traffic concerns

A community amphitheatre is one of the proposals that developers hope will win the Corrimal Coke Works residential proposal a green star rating

THE developers of the Corrimal Coke Works site are aiming to become the first 5-Star Green Star rated Community in Wollongong, transforming a derelict site into what they say will be a vibrant, open and engaging precinct for current and future residents to enjoy.

Illawarra Coke Company Pty Ltd and Legacy Property are seeking planning approval to rezone the former Corrimal Coke Works site located at 27 Railway Street, to enable residential development, conservation and open space.

As part of the process, Wollongong City Council is exhibiting the draft Planning Proposal and Development Control Plan for community comment.

Illawarra Coke Company Director Kate Strahorn said that in addition to building homes for local families, the revitalisation of the Corrimal Coke Works site would benefit the greater Corrimal community.

“We understand the importance of social connections so as well as a diversity of housing we’re including more than 9 hectares of new, high quality parks that can be enjoyed by everyone,” she said.

“These will include an off-leash dog park, playgrounds and an outdoor amphitheatre along with construction of new pedestrian and cycle paths, and the delivery of a new heritage precinct with flexible commercial and community space for teleworking, local start-ups and community groups.”

Developed by the Green Building Council of Australia, Green Star Communities promote environmental and social sustainability outcomes and are rated on governance, liveability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation. The aim is to deliver safe, accessible and culturally rich communities that, through careful planning, design and construction, provide broad-ranging public benefits while reducing ecological impacts.

Legacy Property Head of Strategy and Acquisitions Mike Williams said to be awarded the 5-Star Green Star Community rating the entire site needed to meet rigorous criteria for sustainable design, construction and operation as well as creating a healthy place for people.

“From the start we have designed this community with sustainability at the forefront of our decisions,” he said.

“A 5-Star rating represents Australian leadership for sustainability so we’re proud that this project in Wollongong will be at the forefront of best practice. Some of our key initiatives include the harvesting and reuse of stormwater, responsible sourcing of materials such as timber, steel and concrete, and significant works to enhance biodiversity on the site.”

“Importantly, one of the key principles of the rating tool is to enhance liveability by delivering safe, accessible and culturally rich communities with tangible positive outcomes. We know that the liveability of Corrimal is highly valued by existing residents so this supports our commitment to enhancing the liveability of Corrimal through this project.”

The Illawarra Coke Company and Legacy Property have engaged sustainability consultancy Cundall to advise on achieving best practice sustainability outcome in the project.

Sustainability expert Hannah Morton said that achieving a 5-Star rating for the Corrimal Coke Works can help to attract recognition to the region, raise the bar for other projects and ultimately be a source of pride for the local community.

“The issues covered by the rating tool should be considered for all new precincts and I am pleased that Corrimal Coke Works will be demonstrating leadership in this way. I have no doubt that the project will make a significant contribution to enhancing the liveability of Corrimal,” she said.

While welcoming concessions made to the original proposal for the site, Corrimal Community Action Group (C CAG) continue to raise concern over traffic management and other environmental factors related to the residential development .

Changes to the original plan include a reduction in the height limit from six to four storeys; the number of residences reduced from 760 to 550; a mix of apartment blocks and townhouses; the buildings will no longer encroach into the 100 metre buffer zone around the flying-fox camp, and more of the industrial heritage features preserved or interpreted.

C CAG president Anne Marett says as a result of community demands, this plan is an improvement on the previous proposals.

“There are still a number of important issues that must be resolved before the community can accept it,” she said.

“The issue of greatest concern to the community is still the traffic this development will generate, all through one access point on Railway Street.

“This issue has not been dealt with. We don’t accept that Railway Street can handle the increased number of vehicles.”

You can also learn more about the development proposal and how to give feedback by visiting the Our Wollongong website until August 31, 2021.


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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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