Transforming spaces

In 2014 the heavy rail line into Newcastle was truncated at Wickham to revitalise Newcastle city centre through transforming the former heavy rail corridor. The vision was for open public space, new shops and residential opportunities, and connecting the city to the waterfront.

Over the past three years we have engaged with the community to find out what people want to see in Newcastle and this feedback is shaping our plans to revive the city centre.

Useful links

Revitalising Newcastle animation

An artistic impression of the planning proposal lodged with Newcastle City Council, as interpreted from community consultation in 2015.

What is proposed?

Revitalising Newcastle has developed a planning proposal for the rezoning of part of the former heavy rail corridor -  approximately 4.25ha - from Worth Place in the west to Newcastle Station in the east.

In line with what the community has told us, more than three-quarters of the area is intended to be used for community purposes including education, public recreation, affordable housing and tourism.

The University of Newcastle will significantly increase its inner city presence and become a major catalyst in the revitalisation of Newcastle through maximising two hectares of land close to its NeW Space campus.

The rest of the corridor is proposed as mixed use zoning for retail, commercial and residential uses that revitalise Hunter and Scott streets while respecting Newcastle’s heritage and character. New pedestrian and active transport connections are included in the plan and the proposed zones generally align with the existing uses on either side of the rail corridor. 

The rezoning process

As required by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, Newcastle City Council is managing the process to rezone the former rail corridor between Worth Place and Newcastle Station. A planning proposal submitted to Council in July 2016 outlined Revitalising Newcastle's vision for the land, in line with what the majority of the community told us they wanted to see.


Council has amended and progressed the planning proposal, which has also been reviewed by the Department of Environment and Planning, allowing Council to place it on public exhibition. This should happen in mid-2017.

Council will review all submissions before it considers endorsing and submitting the proposal to the NSW Government to amend the Local Environmental Plan.

New public open space

We have already responded to the community's wishes for new open areas and easy access around the city by creating seven pedestrian crossings over the former corridor and opening a new public domain. 

Before and after

Market Street Lawn

Market Street Lawn is a community space on the former corridor at the intersection of Market and Scott streets in the city. We are programming the lawn with a variety of activities for you and your family to enjoy including music, markets, health and wellbeing events, and activities to entertain the kids.

We are continuing to plan other public domain areas along the corridor including around the intersection of Darby and Hunter streets, Newcastle Station and Civic. These areas will integrate with key transport and business nodes along Hunter Street. 


Ideas Festival

During the Ideas Festival community engagement program in 2016, we heard your views on the future design and function of the two major revitalisation precincts surrounding Newcastle and Civic stations.

Learn more about the feedback on these precincts in the outcomes report.