UrbanGrowth NSW welcomes public briefing on planning proposal

28 September 2016

The Newcastle Urban Transformation and Transport Program has welcomed Newcastle City Council’s request for a public briefing of its planning proposal.

Program Director Michael Cassel said council’s decision last night not to vote on the planning proposal was unexpected but not unwelcome.

“We were invited by Council to attend a closed briefing session last week to discuss the rezoning proposal, ahead of its consideration by Council last night. We welcome the Council's invitation to return and brief them further in early October in an open session,” Mr Cassel said.

“We know that council officers have recommended endorsement of the proposal, and so we see this as the next step in working with council to deliver a shared outcome.”

In 2015, the Program signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Newcastle City Council to work together and deliver better planning solutions for the city, which included the co-managed Revitalising Newcastle community engagement that was later acknowledged by the Lord Mayor as the most extensive community engagement ever seen in Newcastle.

“Feedback showed support for new connections to the harbour and public space balanced with mixed use development to drive jobs growth, attract enterprise and tourism and bring people back into the city centre,” said Mr Cassel.

“We believe the proposal delivers what the community said they wanted, but we understand there is a desire by council for more green space in the east end of the corridor, and if this becomes a condition of an endorsed vote, we would respect that.

“Looking ahead, the Program is gearing up for the delivery of light rail, with early construction underway and a new temporary public space opening this summer.

“There is so much potential for Newcastle, and ultimately we believe council shares in our vision to create a thriving and sustainable city centre for future generations,” said Mr Cassel.

The Program will now wait for more information regarding the public briefing and will continue to work closely with council to achieve an outcome that is in the best interests of the people of Newcastle and the Hunter region.

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