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Thirroul Plaza redevelopment proposal rejected by Land and Environment Court

NORTHERN suburbs residents battling the redevelopment of Thirroul Plaza are celebrating after a win in the NSW Land and Environment Court (LEC).

On Wednesday, October 19, the LEC dismissed an appeal by the developer after Wollongong City Council earlier rejected an application for approval of a residential and retail complex on the site.

The application proposed a mixed use development comprising two levels of basement car parking, commercial premises at street-level, and 82 residential apartments on the upper floors.

The development, between Lawrence Hargrave Drive, and the South Coast Railway, sits between King Street and the Beaches Hotel on the north, and W.F. Jackson Park on the south.

The proposal has been highly criticised by community groups, residents and political leaders on a number of fronts, including that the development would contribute to further traffic congestion of an already choked Lawrence Hargrave Drive, impact escarpment views, and jeopardise future live music and other entertainment events at nearby Anita’s Theatre and Beaches Hotel.

LEC Commissioner Danielle Dickson said after considering submissions and assessing the application, she believed “consent should be refused”.

The Commissioner found:

  • That the built form of the development is incompatible with the desired future character of Thirroul Village Centre.
  • The proposed development application will have a detrimental impact on the heritage significance of the Illawarra Escarpment Heritage Conservation Area.
  • The development should be refused because: firstly, the acoustic assessment fails to provide sufficient information to evaluate the likely impacts of the operation of Anita’s Theatre on the proposed residential development; secondly, the development application does not sufficiently demonstrate how it proposed to accommodate or mitigate the existing acoustic impacts from the Beaches Hotel; and thirdly on the preceding basis that it is uncertain that the proposed development will provide an acceptable level of acoustic amenity for future residents.

Other concerns included traffic impacts, loss of on street parking as a result of the proposed public domain works, and the acceptability of the amenity of the proposed apartments.

To view the full judgement visit the NSW Land and Environment Court website.

The Thirroul Village Committee and Save Thirroul Village have fought the proposal for a number of years citing most of the reasoning put forward in the LEC findings.

A spokesperson for the Thirroul Village Committee thanked the community for their involvement and support throughout the campaign.

“Without community support such an outcome would not be possible,” the spokesperson 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 Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is 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 managed several community newspapers. He has been 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), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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