THE Corrimal Coke Works redevelopment will be a major catalyst in the ongoing revitalisation of the suburb, injecting a much-needed economic boost, according to a new report.
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 currently exhibiting the draft Planning Proposal and Development Control Plan for community comment.
Changes to the original residential plan for the site include a reduction in the height limit of buildings 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.
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.
Independent economic modelling undertaken by Urbanised indicates the proposed new Corrimal Coke Works community will generate $87.4 million in total annual local output for the Wollongong economy based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.
Most significantly, the proposal would support 145 direct jobs and inject $30.8 million in additional household expenditure annually into the local economy, providing a major boost for local businesses while securing local jobs.
Report author Stephen Albin said the figures showed the lasting benefits that can be derived from turning a former industrial site into a well-designed community catering for future populations.
“The economic outcomes that are predicted for the new community on the Corrimal Coke Works site have been based on ABS data applied to the proposal and they indicate a strong opportunity for the suburb to thrive in coming years,” he said.
“The positive impact that is generated by additional families and businesses setting up home in the suburb is shared by the whole of Corrimal including established businesses, sporting clubs, schools and community organisations.”
Business owner Andrew Larkham and his wife Tracey moved to Corrimal five years ago, first opening the hairdressing salon Sassy Me before founding the e-bike sales company Riding For Life earlier this year.
Mr Larkham said the Corrimal Coke Works proposal will bring more people into the shops and enhance the community connections that are so valuable to any town.
“This is a great community where people love shopping local and supporting small businesses where they can connect with people they know,” he said.
“The Coke Works redevelopment will bring us new customers, create extra jobs and give us the population growth we need to thrive.”
The Corrimal Coke Works redevelopment will also deliver key elements of the Corrimal Town Centre Plan 2015–2025, which was prepared in partnership with the local community and Wollongong City Council.
Illawarra Coke Company Director Kate Strahorn said it became clear from the early stages of community consultation that creating a proposal that would deliver benefits to the greater Corrimal community was of paramount importance.
“We understand this site provides us with the opportunity to not only deliver a diversity of homes for local families but to provide broader economic and community benefits.” she said.
“It has always been our intention to build a community that can be shared by all residents of Corrimal that will have a lasting, positive impact on the region.
“It is why we are working to create a sustainable 5-Star Green Star rated community that encourages strong social connections and easy links to the established town centre. We see the proposed Corrimal Coke Works redevelopment as being an integral part of the future growth and economic viability of Corrimal.”
Corrimal Community Action Group 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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