City of Newcastle recognised for innovative cultural change and city planning excellence

05 Nov 2021

City of Newcastle’s innovative approach to cultural change and city planning excellence has been recognised at the Local Government NSW Planning Awards (LGNSW) and the 2021 Planning Institute Australia (PIA) NSW Awards for Planning Excellence.

A 'Special Acknowledgment' was awarded by LGNSW to City of Newcastle's Regulatory Planning & Assessment team in the 'Cultural Change Innovation and Excellence' category for significantly reducing Development Application processing times to achieve quality urban design outcomes whilst improving the customer experience.

Since restructuring the planning and business support teams in 2018, net processing times have reduced by 40% and undetermined Development Applications have been reduced by 50%. A shift towards a value-based team culture has also delivered significant improvements in the customer experience.

At the PIA Awards for Planning Excellence, City of Newcastle received a 'Highly Commended Award' in the 'Great Place' category for the Bathers Way Coastal Revitalisation Project. This award category recognises positive change as a result of quality planning outcomes with a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement and a vision for tomorrow.

Bathers Way is City of Newcastle's flagship Coastal Revitalisation Program project, which links Newcastle's iconic beaches of Merewether, Dixon Park, Bar Beach, Newcastle and Nobbys in a continuous path. Of the seven sections of Bathers Way proposed in the Public Domain Plan, four have been completed, two are in design development, and construction is underway at South Newcastle.

Strong community engagement, collaboration, and support for the project by the community has resulted in the success of the project and a collective sense of Bathers Way being a 'great place'. From planning and design to implementation, Bathers Way provides safe, comfortable pedestrian and cycleway access for all people in the community.