The Corrimal Coke Works is an 18 hectare former industrial property directly adjacent to Corrimal Train Station.
The Corrimal Coke Works ceased operations in 2014 after a proud history of metallurgical coke production at Corrimal.
Since the closure of the Corrimal Coke Works in 2014, the Illawarra Coke Company has been considering the future of the property. As industrial uses of the land have been assessed as no longer being viable, investigations have been underway to determine the suitability of the land for housing.
A Planning Proposal was lodged with Wollongong City Council in October 2017 to rezone the property to incorporate R3 Medium Density Residential zoning. This would be a logical extension of the same zoning to the north, north-east and east of the property, and would enable the property to deliver apartments, semi-detached housing and some single dwellings at an affordable price while delivering a high quality urban environment adjacent to recreation space and facilities.
The property itself is in a degraded condition and continues to deteriorate.
Wollongong City Council endorsed the Planning Proposal in April 2018 and it received a Gateway Determination from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in August 2018. Further technical studies have been completed since this time to satisfy the requirements of Council.
See the timeline page for an overview of the process.
The former Corrimal Coke Works was identified as a ‘key site’ in the Corrimal Town Centre Plan 2015-2025 and rezoning will provide for revitalisation of this derelict industrial property to support the objectives of the Plan. The property represents the best opportunity to accommodate growth in the northern suburbs of Wollongong because of its access to the train station and proximity to key services and facilities.
Construction can only commence once the rezoning is finalised and development approvals are obtained. At this stage it is forecast that initial earthworks would commence in mid to late 2021.
The proposal includes approximately 750 dwellings comprising a mix of apartments and townhouses as well as seniors housing/aged care and affordable housing. This will be supported by a small neighbourhood retail precinct at the train station. Nearly 50% of the site will become green open space.
The master plan proposes a range of buildings heights from two-storeys up to four-storeys, with the taller buildings located closer to the central parts of the site so they are less visible from surrounding areas. The existing heritage brick chimney will remain the tallest structure on the property. The master plan is designed to preserve key view corridors through the site, particularly to the escarpment, and the arrangement of buildings also serves to minimise visual impacts from surrounding areas.
A key element of community feedback has been to avoid bland and monotonous buildings. This will be achieved through different character precincts to provide variety in the look and feel of the development, celebrating the site’s industrial heritage, natural features and location between the beach and escarpment.
A small neighbourhood retail precinct is proposed as part of the development and is designed to complement the existing Corrimal Town Centre. The proposed retail is intended to assist in activating Corrimal station and the adjacent heritage precinct as part of the master plan, as well as providing convenient retail services for future residents living in the site.
A retail assessment has been conducted as part of the Planning Proposal and this confirms that the proposed retail is appropriate and will not have a detrimental impact on the Corrimal Town Centre.
The development is forecast to generate $750 million of direct and indirect economic activity (calculated using ABS input-output multipliers).
Construction is forecast to support 2,400 jobs over the life of the project (ABS input-out multipliers).
The completed development is expected to support 140 permanent jobs, which is based on local employment in the retail precinct and some home-based employment (Hill PDA).
Public Spaces & Parks
The master plan provides a range of new parks and open spaces for the community, integrated with the creek corridor, mature trees, cycle and pedestrian connections, proposed residential development and local retail hub. These parks will cater for a variety of informal recreational areas, community activities and spaces for people, including older and younger residents and visitors.
No, the types of spaces vary with the architecture and uses of the various parts of the site, but all lend themselves to passive recreation and informal active recreation. That includes an urban plaza connected to the retail precinct, a quiet and relaxing village park and a creekside amphitheatre parkland.
Many buildings on the property have significantly deteriorated since the closure of the Corrimal Coke Works in 2014. A structural engineering assessment has confirmed that many of the existing buildings and structures are not viable for retention.
This is subject to the ongoing planning process, however the Conservation Management Strategy proposes to retain the brick chimney as the iconic heritage symbol and a second steel chimney, as well as reconstructing or interpreting sections of the coke ovens. The master plan also features adaptive reuse of the old power house building as a café or restaurant within the retail precinct.
A complying development certificate (CDC) is a valid and lawful consent in New South Wales. A CDC was obtained to allow demolition of certain structures on the property to manage safety and security issues. This only occurred after the proposed demolition had been widely communicated as part of consultation activities in March 2019. It was not proposed to demolish any of the high significance heritage structures as part of this work.
Wollongong City Council subsequently placed an Interim Heritage Order on the property to prevent any demolition works from occurring. The Interim Heritage Order will expire in May 2020.
Traffic and Transport
Yes. Detailed traffic modelling has been undertaken in consultation with Wollongong City Council, Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services. The traffic modelling assesses future traffic conditions considering both background traffic growth and the development, and demonstrates that surrounding roads and intersections have the capacity to accommodate additional traffic from the development.
A new 4 way roundabout will be constructed on Railway Street at the existing intersection with Harbinger Street and providing access to the development. This will improve the current situation for residents that live north of Railway Street by providing a controlled intersection for access to Railway Street.
The existing intersection at Memorial Drive and Railway Street will be upgraded to provide additional capacity to alleviate traffic impacts.
A direct connection to Memorial Drive is not supported by Council or RMS, and traffic modelling confirmed that it was not required to manage traffic from the development.
Internal streets will be planned to ensure a clear hierarchy of streets with ample on-street parking to ensure parking demand is not concentrated in established residential streets nearby. All streets will have new street trees and generous footpaths to provide a pleasant and safe environment for pedestrians.
This is a matter for Transport for NSW and NSW TrainLink, but a proposed bus loop, bus stop and ‘kiss and ride’ near the train station are included in our master plan.
A new shared cycle and pedestrian path will be built running north-south, from Railway Street in the north and crossing Towradgi Creek in the south.
Contamination & Remediation
Extensive testing has been undertaken to identify potential contamination, including testing for 233 potential contaminants during more than 16,000 laboratory tests. The testing included 22 groundwater monitoring wells and 35 surface water samples.
The number of sample locations has exceeded NSW EPA requirements by 23 per cent.
Test results found that the samples are indicative of a typical urban condition and there is no evidence of widespread contamination. Less than 4 per cent of samples exceeded the relevant human health criteria.
A Remediation Action Plan will detail how contamination will be addressed to make the property safe for future development. An independent site auditor will review and endorse the Remediation Action Plan and confirm that the works are completed appropriately.
Creek Alignment & Flooding
North Corrimal Creek is a highly modified creek that was previously realigned in the 1970s. Our master plan proposes to realign it along the west of the property as part of the project. This results in reduced flooding for Railway Street and properties on Cross Street.
The new Creek alignment provides capacity to contain flows resulting from a 100-year flood. The project will not result in increased flooding upstream or downstream of the site. A geomorphological assessment has also found the new creek alignment achieves a sustainable long-term, healthy creek for the area.
The majority of the property has been previously disturbed and now comprises cleared land and planted native and exotic vegetation. These areas are of low ecological value. The existing creek and riparian area is heavily modified and degraded, and dominated by weed species.
Two key native vegetation areas have been identified on the property containing Forest Red Gum Thin-leaved Stringybark Grassy Woodlands. The southern ecological area will be conserved and rehabilitated as part of the proposal.
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is present on the property within the southern ecological area. The area is being preserved with appropriate buffers to manage the interface between new development and the Flying-fox camp.
No other significant fauna species have been identified on the property.