A lot of the pressure off Kiama: Mayor

Kiama Mayor Mark Honey.
Kiama Mayor Mark Honey.

Kiama’s mayor believes major development throughout the region has taken “a lot of the pressure off Kiama” in regards to supplying new housing. 

Meanwhile, talks are progressing regarding potential future major development at Bombo Quarry. 

In late 2015, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan, the state government’s 20-year plan for the region was released. 

“The region will need at least 35,400 new homes between 2016 and 2036 to meet the demands of population growth and change,” the report stated. “This is an average of 1770 each year.”

Part of this target will be reached by “increased housing activities” in established suburban areas.

It suggested villas and townhouses in the corridor from Corrimal to Thirroul and apartments in metro Wollongong and Kiama.

According to the report, Kiama is believed to have room for 2850 new homes.

Kiama Mayor Mark Honey told the Kiama Independent he believed “those targets now have become redundant basically”.

“This is because a lot of the pressure on Kiama has been taken off by the development in West Dapto, Calderwood and that area,” he said.

“And as now Shoalhaven’s included in the Illawarra area, there’s going to be a huge development in north Nowra and Bomaderry. 

“So that’s probably taking a lot of the pressure off Kiama... and Kiama has been able to say, take the pressure off because we have got a major development coming up in the future that will accommodate... and that’s the (Bombo) quarry area.

“I believe the pressure’s basically off us to some degree.”

At the December meeting, Kiama councillors resolved that council establish a task force to investigate the potential benefit in terms of residential and commercial revenue to council of Bombo Quarry.

It was moved that the task force be comprised of the mayor and two councillors, two staff and up to two independent volunteer experts.

“I think we owe it to ourselves to look at Bombo Quarry,” Cr Neil Reilly said at the time.

“It’s an enormous area; I believe there are 52 hectares of land out there (referring to the western side of the highway).”

Cr Reilly said it was vital council determine clear ownership of this area, and “determine how we might partner with those owners to bring benefit to the community”. 

This included potential for residential and/or light industrial use. 

Council’s environmental services director Phil Costello said council’s preliminary discussions with stakeholders were progressing well.

“Residential use is one of the land uses certainly earmarked for the site,” he said. 

Mr Costello believed the site would be “reasonably well catered for” regarding infrastructure.

“You’ve got reticulated water and sewer there, and I think there’s capacity within those systems, and similarly you’ve got the road and rail network close by,” he said. 

Regarding increased population numbers due to ongoing developments in the Kiama CBD such as Bathers, Mr Costello said the main infrastructure-related issue was “not so much the reticulated services, but more so traffic and parking”.

“We’re currently looking at some of those issues, and lately there have been some traffic counters throughout the place, so we’re getting some background on that,” he said.