Plans for Newcastle Beach progress with feedback from the community

17 Dec 2019

City of Newcastle has reconvened its Bathers Way – King Edward Park to Newcastle Beach community reference group (CRG) as it moves towards the next step in completing an 11-kilometre revitalisation of its coastline.

The CRG met last week to recap on the project to date, including the results of the 2018 engagement and design changes, and to give feedback on the latest plans.

Bathers Way indictitive design

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the CRG was an important community advisory group that provided valuable feedback as plans are finalised.

“The Bathers Way Community Reference Group provides broad representation of groups including boardriders, residents and Indigenous stakeholders, giving us important input into the delivery of this project.

“At last week’s meeting the group provided positive feedback on the latest designs for the South Newcastle Beach upgrades, particularly the incorporation of the heritage stone arches of the former picnic pavilion.

“The project team also collected feedback on planned public amenity improvements to King Edward Park, including viewing platforms looking over the coast, and upgrades to activate and open Newcastle Beach.

“Consultation for this work stretches back a decade to when engagement first commenced on the Coastal Revitalisation Strategy Masterplan in 2009, and we’ve consistently been gathering and implementing feedback since.

“The Bathers Way project has seen Nobbys, Dixon Park, Bar Beach and Merewether transformed over the past decade and we’re looking forward to starting work on stage 1 of Newcastle next year after consultation and detailed design works,” the Lord Mayor said.

The remaining section of the Bathers Way – Newcastle Beach project is divided into two stages, and in late 2018 the City conducted drop-in sessions and an associated survey to present updated design plans and seek community feedback on the draft plans.

The plans for Newcastle Beach project covers from King Edward Park to Newcastle Surf Life Saving Club. Stage 1 includes a new skate park and bowl, exercise equipment, access improvements, new amenities, and a kiosk. Stage 2 includes a community hub in the redevelopment of the Newcastle beach pavilion in a future project.

The engagement results from late 2018 included 335 participants and showed most were broadly supportive of the project but had concerns about the intrusion of the skate bowl onto the beach.

The City developed new concept plans incorporating the skate bowl into the existing footprint of the South Newcastle Beach skatepark, releasing the designs in July along with a month-long ‘Have Your Say’ period, showing overwhelmingly positive feedback.

This design is under review by City of Newcastle officers and will be revised subject to the finalisation of the coastal engineering assessment.

People can view the new Bathers Way designs HERE.