Village Hub precinct set for expansion as Wickham evolves

24 Sep 2021

An updated vision for Wickham will see the Village Hub precinct expanded, turning what has always been a semi-industrial suburb into an urban residential neighbourhood that supports Newcastle’s reinvented west-end.

The Wickham Masterplan was first developed in 2017 in partnership with the community and guides City of Newcastle’s planning decisions and delivery of urban renewal within Wickham. The updated Masterplan continues with the vision for Wickham and will guide future redevelopment of land. It also addresses the challenge of mine subsidence in the area while providing important public domain improvements for the community.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Wickham Masterplan is an important tool for bringing vital community infrastructure to Wickham, while also protecting the suburb's village character and feel.

"The community told us that retaining the character of key areas like the Village Hub was vital, and the updated Masterplan reflects this with a revision of housing types and expansion of the Village Hub precinct," Cr Nelmes said.

“The updated Wickham Masterplan also takes into consideration the importance of community infrastructure including new footpaths and cycleways, and green space, with a related Public Domain Plan now underway to clarify requirements for coordinated streetscape renewal, including footpaths, roads and tree plantings.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the updated Wickham Masterplan addresses the challenges and opportunities that have arisen since the original Masterplan was developed in 2017.

“Wickham continues to attract new residents. The updated Masterplan guides the way that Wickham grows and takes shape, taking advantage of its connection to public transport, the CBD, harbour and great parks,” Cr Clausen said.

City of Newcastle Manager Regulatory, Planning and Assessment Michelle Bisson said the updated Wickham Masterplan incorporates height limits and greater set back controls on land bordering the Village Hub to protect the character of the residential precinct.

“The updated Wickham Masterplan also reflects updated risk assessments for the issue of mine subsidence,” Ms Bisson said.

“Recent assessments by Subsidence Advisory NSW have found that the risks of subsidence from old mine workings in Wickham are more extensive than previously anticipated, meaning building densities have been reduced in some areas affected by subsidence risk,” Ms Bisson said.

“Expansion of the Village Hub along Bishopsgate Street is widely supported by the community following the exhibition period, along with maintaining the 10-metre height limit,” she said.

Following consideration of public submissions, a site at the western end of Bishopsgate Street will remain in the Emerging Industry Quarter as per the 2017 Masterplan. Greater set back controls will apply on the boundary to minimise impacts and maintain streetscape character in the residential precinct. The site was formerly occupied by a service station and an industrial building.

Councillors will vote on the updated Wickham Masterplan at Tuesday’s Ordinary Council meeting.