Why does Dapto need a Town Centre Plan?

The Dapto Town Centre Plan will be a guide for business, residents, government and community groups and will provide strategic direction for future development, infrastructure investment, community programs and planning policy.

Through Council’s Land Use Planning team, Wollongong Council has programmed a number of planning studies and master plans for town centres across the Wollongong Local Government Area. Priorities are set through an Annual Planning cycle. Since 2013, Council has completed town centre plans for Warrawong, Unanderra, Figtree, and Corrimal and a Wollongong City Centre Revitalisation Plan (named Wollongong, A City for People).

How does the Dapto Town Centre Plan affect me?

The Dapto Town Centre Plan is a plan for everyone who lives, works or visits Dapto Town Centre. It proposes a variety of revitalisation initiatives, but not all of these can be delivered by Council. 

Businesses, government agencies and community groups have an important stake in making the town centre an interesting, fun, healthy and safe place to be and the Plan provides guidance and strategies for anyone planning development or delivering programs and services in Dapto. The Plan can be used advocate for changes, seek funding sources, change perceptions and inspire enthusiasm for new ideas.

We are seeking your feedback to make sure that the Vision for Dapto Town Centre and accompanying strategies are what you want to see for Dapto in the future, so we can all work together to achieve this in many different ways.

How do I find out more and how can I be involved?

Our project team would be happy to talk to you about the draft Plan. Please call the Land Use Planning Team on 4227 7111 during business hours.

The project team will be available to chat and answer questions in Dapto Mall on 18 March between 9am and 1pm. This information kiosk will be set up near the Post Office, so come and say hi!

You can view hard copies of the draft Plan at Dapto, Warrawong, Unanderra and Wollongong libraries.

Let us know what you think by:
Please quote the reference ESP-100.03.010 in your submission.

How has the draft Plan been developed?

The draft Dapto Town Centre Plan has been developed in partnership with the Dapto Futures group, made up of community and business representatives of Dapto. The Dapto Futures group have provided invaluable input into the draft Plan and developed and distributed a community survey which received 790 responses.

The draft Plan puts people first in the planning process and is broadly based on the Gehl Methodology. Developed by renowned international architect and urban designer Jan Gehl, the Gehl Methodology is an evidence based approach, involving collecting data about the quality of streets and public places and counting and observing people in public places. By understanding how people use spaces we can offer solutions to improve the quality of these spaces and attract more people to town centres.
Gehl has achieved success in cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide, New York and Copenhagen and Wollongong City Council has partnered with Gehl Architects on the ‘Wollongong, A City for People’ city centre revitalisation strategy.  

The draft Dapto Town Centre Plan is now on exhibition seeking comments from the community. Refer to the question above for how to submit your ideas.

Is safety and security a consideration in the draft Plan?

A town centre that is safe and welcoming to all is important to everyone and is an important consideration in the draft Dapto Town Centre Plan. There are many factors which come together to influence how safe or unsafe we feel in a space and we all have a role to play in contributing to safe places. Even places which are relatively safe in terms of actual incidents of crime can be perceived as unsafe because they are empty, dark or unfamiliar.

A busy town centre with well-designed and well-maintained spaces and strong social connections brings people and energy to the street. The draft Plan focuses on bringing in extra options and activities to the town centre, bringing more people outside and creating a busy, vibrant atmosphere that in turn encourages even more people to visit. This will increase surveillance in public places which will make spaces feel safer. The draft Plan also encourages infrastructure improvements that will help people feel safer, including introducing lighting to key spaces, providing opportunities for people to meet in public places and improving traffic safety and safety for people walking and cycling.

Are planning controls changing?

The draft Plan does not propose changes to planning controls relating to height limits or density controls at this stage. The draft Plan states that current planning controls provide ample capacity for growth of the Town Centre. Actions that relate to planning controls include updating design-based controls in the Wollongong Development Control Plan 2009.

How does this draft Plan relate to West Dapto?

Dapto Town Centre will retain its role as an Urban Centre providing the greatest range and volume of retail and services for the area, including catering for the new West Dapto population. As the population of the area grows significantly, so too will the Dapto Town Centre.

Information on planning for the West Dapto Urban Release Area can be found on Council's website.

What happens after the public exhibition period ends?

All the feedback we received will be read and used to make refinements to the draft Plan, before it is reported to Council for endorsement later this year.