What is the Wollongong Industrial Lands Review?

    The Draft Wollongong Industrial Lands Review is a planning document that aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Wollongong’s industrial lands, uses and related controls.  

    The findings of the Draft Review will inform strategic planning and future planning policy updates to a number of planning documents including the: 

    • Wollongong Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) 

    • Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2009 

    • Wollongong Development Control Plan (DCP) 2009 Chapter B5 Industrial Development 

    • Draft Wollongong Integrated Transport Strategy (in preparation) 

    What is the origin of this review?

    Council needs to ensure that our planning controls in industrial settings are appropriate for our communityeconomy and to identify if they are creating any barriers to delivering sustainable employment outcomes under Council’s Economic Development Strategy 2019-29. 

    Wollongong’s industrial lands were last reviewed by Council in 2006 through a study that informed the preparation of the draft Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2009. This review formally supersedes that study and aims to inform future land use planning directions for industrial lands across Wollongong including within the forthcoming ‘Six Cities Region Plan’ and ‘Illawarra Shoalhaven City Plan. 

    At its meeting of 26 June 2023, Council resolved to exhibit the Draft Wollongong Industrial Lands Review to enable community and industry consultation. 

    What are industrial and primary production lands?

    ‘Industrial lands’ include all land within Wollongong Local Government Area zoned E4 General Industrial, E5 Heavy Industrial, E3 Productivity Support, W4 Working Waterfront and SP1 Special Activity and IN3 Heavy Industrial (at the Port of Port Kembla). Additionally, the RU1 Primary Production zone has been separately reviewed as it is associated with existing or former mining operations. 

    What activities occur on industrial land?

    Industrial zoned lands support a variety of different uses including mechanics, hardware and building supplies, depots, warehouses and distribution centres, fuel depots and other associated general industrial uses. The land use planning framework established via the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan 2009 regulates these uses by identifying which uses are permitted in different industrial zones. These zones have been recently updated by the NSW Department of Planning and EnvironmentA summary of the zones relevant to the Industrial Lands Review is outlined below: 

    Employment ZoneStrategic intentDesired characteristicsLonger term considerations

    E3 Productivity Support 

    (Formerly B6 Enterprise Corridor) 

    To provide land and floor space for: 
    • a range of urban or rural services that cater to and support the local population and businesses 
    • businesses not suited to a centre location 
    • industries and activities that are lower on the land value hierarchy than retail and commercial office uses 
    • Fine grain and/or large format employment 
    • Land and floorspace responds to local business need 
    • Mix of specialised, niche or trade focused retail, including business focused retail 
    • Mix of light industrial, office, infrastructure and other urban services uses 
    • Capability to service the needs of local workers with food and drink, convenience retail and child care 
    • Low impact creative and emerging industries 
    • Allow a broader range of permissible land uses to accommodate emerging and changing industries 
    • Cater to a range of floor plate and floor to ceiling requirements across a variety of locations  

    E4 General Industrial 

    (Formerly IN1 General Industrial and IN2 Light Industrial) 

    To provide suitable land and floor space for a range of industrial activities 
    • General and light industries, warehousing and supporting businesses 
    • Complementary uses including office (associated with industrial), auto-related industry (excluding sales), large format indoor recreation, artisan food and drink 
    • Capability to service the needs of local workers 
    • Access to arterial roads and freight routes 
    • Diversity of lot sizes, with capability to support a mix of fine grain and large format industrial uses 
    • Protect land for industrial purposes 
    • Accommodate new industries and changing requirements of industries 
    • Allow for industries to innovate and evolve 
    • Co-locate industry with businesses that directly support industry or have similar amenity impacts 

    E5 Heavy Industrial 

    (Formerly In3 Heavy Industrial) 

    • To provide suitable areas for industries that need to be separated from other land uses 
    • To minimise the impact of heavy industry on other land uses 
    • To protect land suited to heavy industries 
    • Capability to support hazardous or offensive industry and storage with buffers to sensitive receivers 
    • Capability to support depots, warehousing and storage premises that support heavy industry 
    • Physically separate from other higher amenity land uses 
    • Good access to arterial roads and freight routes 
    • Large lot as required by safety and amenity 
    • Continue to provide sites suited to heavy industry 

    W4 Working Waterfront 

    (Formerly IN4   Working Waterfront) 

    To provide suitable protections for working waterfront areas that are adjacent to waterways 
    • Manage land use conflicts and environmental protections of waterways 
    • Determine the longer-term needs of the working waterfront and protect productive functions of these area • Manage competing higher order land uses seeking to maximise waterfront locations 

    Does this review cover the Port of Port Kembla?

    Given the regulatory role of the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) - Transport and Infrastructure 2021 – Chapter 5 Three Ports over the IN3 and SP1 lands at the Port of Port Kembla, and the significant strategic planning currently being undertaken by the NSW Department of Planning an Environment, BlueScope and NSW Ports in this area, this Review does not seek to make detailed recommendations or duplicate the strategic processes already occurring. 

    Although the draft review includes the Port land within the scope of its analysis (SP1 and IN3 zoned land), its focus with respect to recommendations is on the Industrial Precincts which are regulated under the Wollongong LEP 2009.  

    The review includes analysis of existing planning controls for the Port in SEPP (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 – Chapter 5 Three Ports. It also acknowledges and analyses the nationally significant economic role of the Port along with its strategic importance, transport links, potential future uses, recent development activity and demand. 

    Does the review consider mining lands located throughout the Wollongong Local Government Areas (LGA)?

    The Draft Review includes analysis of the six RU1 Primary Production zones associated with existing or former mining related activities and identifies actions for future Council investigation. The Draft Review acknowledges that Wollongong has an extensive history of coal mining of over 100 years which is utilised in local steelmaking at Port Kembla as well as elsewhere in Australia and overseas. However, the Draft Review also acknowledges that while mining operations are likely to continue in Wollongong for at least several decades, over the longer term, Council will need to collaborate with landowners to consider the eventual transition of each RU1 precinct upon permanent closure of mining operations. 

    Detailed analysis of these six mining sites is provided at Chapter 6.4 of the Review (pg. 205). 

    Does the Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) have enough industrial land?

    This is not a simple question to answer. Forecasting land and floorspace demand for Industrial Land Uses is complex. Unlike residential or retail, industrial uses have a very broad set of possible land and building requirements, specific to the operations of the use. Some industries need very large land parcels with specific qualities, others can consolidate their activities onto smaller sites, and make use of taller built forms. Trying to forecast specific industrial land requirements would rely on many assumptions about the nature of future businesses, markets and emerging economic trends which can be unreliable.

    For these reasons the draft review focusses on providing a thorough outline of our existing zoned lands and highlights how these lands could be used more efficiently to meet ongoing demand.  

    The draft review finds that demand for industrial land in Wollongong is high and whilst there is significant supply of zoned industrial land, challenges remain around unlocking undeveloped land to further support economic development outcomes. 

    As of July 2022, there was 2,445 hectares of industrial land across Wollongong LGA, spread across 42 precincts. There is a further 228 hectares of RU1 Primary Production land among six precincts, four with operational mines and two non-operational. 

    Since 2010, with the introduction of Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2009 and Wollongong LEP (West Dapto) 2010, there has been a net increase in industrial zoned land (E4 and E5 zones) of approximately 85 hectares. Subsequent rezonings to date have increased this further by a net 6.4 hectares. Wollongong contains over half of the Illawarra-Shoalhaven’s zoned employment land and has a higher provision of industrial land per capita. 

    This draft review finds that Wollongong’s industrial lands are adequately providing for ‘urban services’ which enable local residents to access everyday goods and services and support efficient supply chains. 

    85% of Wollongong's Industrial Land is occupied with existing operations. The suitability of the remaining undeveloped land is varied and only a very limited proportion would be considered available for development in the short term. There are number of challenges to unlocking some of our larger parcels of undeveloped land such as those at Kembla Grange and Tallawarra. These include flooding, contamination, a lack of infrastructure servicing and coordination between landowners.

    There is relatively little undeveloped industrial land in Wollongong LGA that is serviced. This is evidence that once land is serviced and ready to be brought to market there is strong demand for it to be developed. This was further supported by the feedback received during engagement with local commercial agents and businesses. In Wollongong, demand has been high across a range of industrial and logistics activities, however, it has been particularly strong demand for strata industrial warehousing, including a trend towards accommodating non-traditional industrial businesses such as those in leisure and lifestyle industries. 

    Why can it be difficult to find industrial land in the Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA)?

    The suitability of industrial land remaining for development is varied and only a very limited proportion would be considered available for development in the short term. There are number of challenges, primarily flooding, contamination, a lack of infrastructure servicing and coordination between landowners, that has to date prevented the ‘unlocking’ of areas of regionally significant precincts such as Kembla Grange and Tallawarra. 

    There is also relatively little industrial land in Wollongong LGA that is undeveloped and serviced. This is evidence that once land is brought to market there is strong demand and further supported by the feedback received during engagement with local commercial agents and businesses. In Wollongong, demand has been high across a range of industrial and logistics activities, however, it has been particularly strong for strata industrial warehousing, including a trend towards accommodating non-traditional industrial businesses such as those in leisure and lifestyle industries. 

    Detailed analysis of industrial lands throughout the LGA is provided at Chapter 3 of the Review (pg. 36). 

    How do I know if any changes are recommended for my land?

    Chapter 6 (Precinct Analysis and Findings) of the draft review provides the recommendations for each of the 42 industrial land precincts as well as the 6 precincts of primary production lands across the Local Government Area. Chapter 6 breaks down each of the three Council wards via suburb for ease of analysis. A separate link has been provided to an extracted copy of Chapter 6 of the draft review in the Document Library. 

    Does this review change the planning controls for my land?

    No. The draft Review recommends the adoption of seven planning principles to be incorporated into Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement to guide future strategic planning of industrial lands within the Local Government Area.  

    The draft review recommends that Council could investigate changes in relation to zoning, land use tables, development standards, and Development Control Plan controls. As such, further studies and analysis will need to be undertaken prior to any further decisions being made. This process would include a separate consultation process. 

    What is the timing for these proposed changes?

    Any changes to these planning controls will involve a separate assessment process and exhibition which takes some time to complete and will include a separate consultation process. 

    How do I find out the current zoning of my land?

    Zoning information for all parcels of land within the Wollongong Local Government Area can be accessed via the NSW Planning Portal ePlanning Spatial Viewer from this linkType in the property address and review the search results under ‘Land Zoning Map. Additional information such as building height limits, floor space ratio (FSR) and minimum lot sizes can also be obtained from this mapping.

    How do the recommendations for consideration impact residential properties?

    Whilst the draft review makes recommendations regarding planning control changes to enhance the use and function of industrial lands, it also includes recommendations to better manage situations where industrial development interfaces with residentially zoned areas via recommendations to Chapter B5 (Industrial Development) of Wollongong DCP 2009.  

    It is also noted that there are a range of existing controls located in Council’s planning controls to help manage impacts of new industrial development on existing residential areas, however, it is also acknowledged that many of the industrial and residentially zoned areas located within the study precincts of this review were developed prior to these existing controls being adopted. 

    What is the Employment Zone Reform?

    The NSW Government has recently introducednew employment zones through a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). Business (B) and Industrial (IN) zones were replaced with five new employment zones (E) and three supporting zones. The changes came into effect on 26 April 2023. 

    The new zones include: 

    Employment zones

    Business and Industrial zones 

    E1 Local Centre 

    B1 Neighbourhood Centre 

    B2 Local Centre 

    E2 Commercial Centre 

    B3 Commercial Core 

    E3 Productivity Support 

    B6 Enterprise Corridor 

    B7 Business Park 

    E4 General Industrial  

    IN1 General Industrial  

    IN2 Light Industrial  

     E5 Heavy Industrial

    IN3 Heavy Industrial  

    Supporting Zones 

    MU1 Mixed Use 

    B4 Mixed Use 

    W4 Working Waterfront 

    IN4 Working Waterfront 

    Who can I talk to about the draft review?

    Council staff are available to discuss the draft review with you. You can contact Council by:

    • Phoning 4227 7111 and ask for Council's Strategic Planning Officers.
    • Visiting Council's Customer Service Centre, Ground Floor Administration Building, 41 Burelli Street Wollongong on weekdays from 9am to 5pm
    • Emailing records@wollongong.nsw.gov.au  
    • Writing to - The General Manager, Wollongong City Council, Locked Bag 8821 WOLLONGONG DC NSW 2500.

    Feedback closes 11 September 2023. For written, phone and emailed submissions, please quote: 'Draft Industrial Lands Review 2023'. Any submissions become public documents and may be viewed by other persons on request. Please read Council's Privacy Policy before submitting your feedback.

    What happens to our feedback?

    Following the engagement period, the project team will review and consider all the feedback. We’ll then get back in touch everyone we’ve heard from to let them know what the outcome is. 

    What happens next?

    Following the exhibition, Council will consider the issues raised in submissions and report a final document for adoption. If adopted the recommendations of the review will be implemented via a range of programs and projects.