Thursday, 10 January 2013

NSW Revitalising Newcastle

Revitalising Newcastle

Steel Street, Newcastle Artists Impression

The NSW Government will transform and revitalise Newcastle's city centre to boost economic activity,
making Newcastle a more vibrant place for locals and visitors,
and reinforcing its role as a 21st century regional centre.
A strategy has been announced with a range of initiatives and an implementation plan to help drive urban renewal and improve links between the city centre and its waterfront.
The initiatives will revitalise Hunter Street with activity focused on three key hubs to form a
 dynamic city centre offering a range of experiences for the wider region and eight new
crossings to link the city centre with the foreshore.
Significant upgrades are planned for Wheeler Place and Hunter Street Mall,
with a new transport interchange to be built at Wickham to serve the city's emerging commercial hub,
providing more travel options and better connectivity for people outside Newcastle.
New retail, residential and leisure activities across these different precincts will
stimulate the city centre and surrounding areas.
The Strategy
The Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy
[Part 1 - 8MB] [Part 2 - 16MB] [Part 3 - 11MB] [Part 4 - 4MB] [Part 5 - 10MB] [Part 6 - 2MB]
is a long-term strategy with a clear implementation plan for the city centre,
which identifies opportunities for growth and investment
and responds to the need to accommodate up to 12,600
more residents and 10,000 extra workers by 2036.
The strategy takes advantage of a range of public domain upgrades to
kick-start the redevelopment of a more dynamic city centre,
re-connected with its waterfront. It was developed in
consultation with the City of Newcastle and key state government agencies.
New planning controls will revitalise Hunter Street,
concentrating activity around three hubs to offer a range of experiences:

East End will be bolstered as a retail, entertainment, leisure and residential precinct based around a revitalised Hunter Street Mall
Civic will be strengthened as the city’s main civic, educational and cultural hub, building on the makeover of Wheeler Place; and
West End will develop as the city’s emerging commercial hub with improvements around Birdwood Park and to Cottage Creek.

Hunter Street will be a destination in its own right as well as a key link to
other areas, with upgraded footpaths, a new cycle path and street plantings.
Upgrades will enhance and improve Birdwood Park, Cottage Creek,
Devonshire Street, Crown Street and the section of Hunter Street
near the new transport interchange. Innovative re-use of heritage buildings will be encouraged.

Growth will be achieved through economic, transport and physical improvements
including new planning controls that together will encourage residential and
commercial development in the city centre.
This will inject vibrancy back into the area through a wider mix of uses,
supported by allowing greater density on key development sites.

A separate explanation of intended effect has been prepared under s38
of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act.
This outlines the proposed changes to the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012
that will facilitate the new planning controls.
Under the Government’s new vision for Newcastle and to facilitate this major revitalisation:
Rail services separating the city centre and the waterfront will be replaced by bus services from
Wickham, linked to the rail timetable
A new bus/rail interchange will be built at Wickham, west of Stewart Avenue.
Bus services from the new interchange will ensure smoother journeys to the city centre
and to other areas within Newcastle for professional, commercial, educational and social purposes
New north-south links will be created over the superseded rail corridor, connecting the
city centre to the waterfront.

Funding
The NSW Government has committed $120 million to the program of works including
the new Wickham bus/rail interchange. This includes $10 million in upgrades to
Hunter Street Mall and Wheeler Place, making them catalysts for private 
investment in housing and commercial buildings to create a more vibrant
Newcastle where businesses and communities can flourish.
Community consultation
The Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy is being exhibited for public comment until
17 March 2013. Community information forums will be held during the exhibition
period to allow the community to speak with departmental and council planners.
Times and venues will be widely publicised.
The community is encouraged to read the strategy and provide feedback to ensure
the best possible outcomes for the people of Newcastle and the surrounding region.
Revitalising Newcastle Video: