People come to the region because of the lifestyle opportunities available from the stunning coastal landscape. The NSW Government will use the appeal of the coast to grow its economy but not at the expense of this landscape.
The NSW Government’s place-based approach to planning aims to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the same coastal landscape as residents today. It will take advantage of the region’s natural and built landscapes to create high quality neighbourhoods and centres that contribute to social cohesion and community wellbeing.
The built environment of neighbourhoods will be integrated with the landscape, open space, public transport, and walkways and cycleways to encourage healthy living and community interaction.
Improvements in transport will enable more people to move between and within centres so they can connect to jobs, services, the arts, and cultural and recreational activities. This will make centres livelier, more appealing places to work, live and visit, and will help to maximise the use of parks, civic squares, sporting and cultural facilities, and other public spaces.
The benefits of economic growth can be reinvested to restore the natural assets of the region and allow communities to reconnect to the coast and experience one of the defining features of the region – the coastal lifestyle.
Centres concentrate retailing, commercial, business and government functions in one place, which makes public investment in transport and the public domain (public spaces) more viable.
The Illawarra-Shoalhaven region has a network of centres that are categorised according to their functions. Higher order functions such as business, office and retail uses, along with arts, culture, recreation and entertainment facilities, are located in the larger centres (for example, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Nowra) while suburban centres have stronger local/district retail functions (for example, Corrimal, Warilla and Albion Park).
Allowing centres to grow to accommodate jobs and services is integral to their resilience. Currently, there is capacity for an additional 606,000 square metres of retail activity across the region, which exceeds the forecast demand of 475,000 square metres to meet population growth.23 The potential for growth is a key factor for the Government when considering investment in infrastructure.
The NSW Government’s preference is to put retail activity into centres. Proposals for new retail centres (including retail proposals) will be assessed against the region’s network of centres. These proposals should demonstrate how they:
The net community benefit should be a factor when assessing these proposals.
|Centres hierarchy||Centres servicing the Illawarra-Shoalhaven||Key functions of the centre|
|Metropolitan centre||Wollongong||Provides a full range of higher order services and activities including business, office and retail uses, along with arts, culture, recreation and entertainment facilities to serve the wider community and broader region. Contains major tertiary education and health facilities and incorporates high density commercial and residential development.|
|Major regional centre||Shellharbour Centre and Nowra Centre||
Larger scale centres that service a number of districts, providing a wide range of business, retail and entertainment uses, including discount department stores, warehouses, and transport logistics and bulky goods operations. Includes higher density residential development in the centre.
Focal points for subregional road and transport networks and servicing for a number of districts.
|Major urban centre||Warrawong and Dapto||Larger suburban centres that service a broad catchment of communities, providing a range of business, retail and entertainment uses, including discount department stores and bulky goods operations.|
|Regional centre||Kiama, Milton-Ulladulla and Vincentia district||Major town centres servicing the local area and surrounding suburbs, providing a range of business, retail and entertainment uses, including supermarkets, health and other services. They include some higher density residential development.|
|Urban centre||Corrimal, Fairy Meadow, Figtree, Unanderra, Warilla and Albion Park||Suburban centres servicing the local area and surrounding suburbs, providing a range of business, retail and entertainment uses, including supermarkets, health and other services.|
Good transport connections are essential to move people to and from centres and the jobs, shops, entertainment, education facilities and health care services they provide.
The Illawarra Regional Transport Plan is the NSW Government’s plan for the provision of transport in the region, and is informed by the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan. The Illawarra Regional Transport Plan and this Regional Plan aim to improve the connections between the region’s centres. They outline an approach to dealing with seasonal tourism that generates peak transport demands, reducing the travel time between Wollongong and Sydney, and improving the use of community transport services in more dispersed areas of the region.
Metro Wollongong is the economic heart of the region and home to 23 per cent of all jobs.24
Given expected employment and housing growth in Metro Wollongong, and the significant growth identified for the West Lake Illawarra release areas, improving the links between these areas and other parts of the region is a high priority.
The NSW Government will develop strategies to better link centres, corridors and growth areas to Metro Wollongong building on:
The proximity of the northern corridor to Sydney means that there is considerable scope to support commuters and also attract business to the region relocating from Sydney. Over 21 per cent of the workforce in the northern corridor commutes to Sydney for work, compared to 3 per cent in the Shoalhaven and 13 per cent in the region overall.25
The Illawarra Regional Transport Plan identifies reducing public transport travel time between Wollongong and Sydney as an important action by focusing on integrating services and improving service connections and frequency.
To capitalise on improved public transport, new housing will be focused in and around centres in the rail corridor.
The NSW Government will:
The influx of visitors during holiday periods puts temporary pressure on transport systems and services, particularly in the southern part of the region, including Kiama, Nowra and Ulladulla. A range of options are available to deal with this issue, such as better connecting tourist areas in the Shoalhaven (especially around Jervis Bay) to the railway station at Bomaderry; infrastructure improvements such as bus stops and bus shelters; branding and awareness activities; summer and special event timetables; town shuttles; pricing options; and park and ride services.
The NSW Government will:
The Illawarra-Shoalhaven has a rich and diverse heritage reflected in the strong links between the Aboriginal people and the region’s coastline and escarpment – which are important cultural landscapes - and in the historic sites and townships associated with early European settlement, such as Mount Kembla.
Protecting this cultural heritage is important to the region’s communities, identity and character, and contributes to the visitor economy.
The development of new release areas such as West Lake Illawarra and Nowra-Bomaderry have the potential to impact on cultural heritage, so it is important that Councils’ growth management strategies and local environmental plans are consistent with heritage legislative processes, including:
The NSW Government will require that:
Page last updated: 25/09/2019