What do we mean by ‘local shops’?

    By ‘local shops’ we mean your:

    • Local corner shop
    • Neighbourhood centre 
    • Town or Village centre.

    We have more than 70 clusters of shops and town and village centres across the Wollongong Local Government Area (from Helensburgh to Windang and Haywards Bay). Some of these places include things like health services, places to eat, supermarkets, small parks and community facilities.

    Why is Council doing this survey?

    Our local shops and centres are where we go to do business, buy our groceries, and build community. We want to understand how people use these places, what they like about them and how we can improve them in the future.

    How will this information be used?

    We’re working on long-term plans for how we can improve our local shopping areas and town and village centres. This community survey is one important piece of information that will be used to develop our Retail and Business Centres Study. We’ll use this study to inform planning and policy decisions over the next 10 years.

    What is a Retail and Business Centres Study?

    A Retail and Business Centres Study creates a picture of how our local shopping areas and town and village centres are performing. It will show if they are meeting the needs of our community and help us understand how our community wants them to perform in the future. 

    In addition, this study will help us understand the current and future retail, business and office space needs of these places. We’ll use this information to make changes to planning controls to enable these places to meet the future needs of our community. 

    The final Study will include recommendations about changes that could be made to the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).

    What’s the difference between the Retail and Business Centres Study and a Town, Village or City Centre Plan?

    The Retail and Business Centres Study is the big picture Study. It looks at all our Town Centres across our whole Local Government Area to understand their different roles and how all the Centres work together to support our community. The Retail and Business Centres Study uses forecast population data, existing land use information and community feedback to ensure our centres will meet the future needs of our community.  

    You may have shared your ideas for your local town centre as part of a previous community engagement activity for a Town and Village Plan. These plans are detailed studies, specific to certain places. They include a Vision and actions for a particular town centre. These actions could include community projects, upgrades to streets and parks, and recommendations for planning and building control reviews.

    What is a LEP and DCP?

    Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) guide planning decisions for local government areas. They do this through zoning and built form controls, which provide a framework for the way land can be used and what can be built on it. LEPs are the main planning tool to shape future development and also ensure it is done appropriately, including providing protection for heritage and environmentally sensitive areas.

    A Development Control Plan (DCP) provides detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan (LEP). A DCP is prepared and adopted by Councils. A DCP provides more details about how land can be used and developed and may relate to a particular place (e.g. Wollongong CBD) or to a particular topic (e.g. flooding or heritage).

    Will Council be talking to local businesses?

    We’re in the early stages of this project, where we’re gathering information about how our community use these places. It’s important we hear the thoughts and ideas of local businesses and we’ll be organising some targeted engagement opportunities early next year.

    When the draft Study is complete, we’ll share it with the community and local businesses for their feedback.

    Where can I find the survey?

    You can find the survey on this web page.

    Hard copies of the survey and reply-paid envelopes will be available at each of the Wollongong City Libraries from 1 November 2021.

    If I complete the survey will I go in the draw to win a prize?

    Yes! People who complete the survey and leave their contact details will go in the draw to win one of six $50 VISA gift cards.

    Are there terms and conditions?

    Yes. Terms and conditions can be found on this website.

    How will the winners be decided?

    Six winners will be drawn at random. Winners will be contacted by email after the survey closes.