Wickham Masterplan updated as the west-end transforms

21 May 2021

A report recommending that the community be invited to have their say on an updated vision for Wickham, providing attractive public spaces, more connections and safety improvements will be considered at Tuesday’s Ordinary Council meeting.

The Wickham Masterplan was developed in 2017 in partnership with the community and guides the City’s planning decisions and delivery of urban renewal within Wickham. The updated Masterplan will guide the future redevelopment of land in the area and also deals with the challenge of mine subsidence.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Wickham Masterplan aims to protect Wickham’s suburban character while ensuring public facilities and infrastructure supported the growing population.

“Wickham is experiencing increased investor interest and has attracted new developments due to its proximity to the growing Newcastle West, new transport interchange and the harbour, along with the availability of larger sites zoned for mixed use,” Cr Nelmes said.

“The updated Wickham Masterplan steers future development and will influence the mix of land use, connectivity, the public domain and what is built throughout the suburb.

“Better access and connections to Wickham Park, improved cycleways and investment in community infrastructure will support the increasing local population.

“Planned urban renewal will deliver greater road and pedestrian links within Wickham and to adjoining areas, improved public amenity as well as buildings and infrastructure that reflect the area’s unique character.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the updated Wickham Masterplan supports the strategic relocation of Newcastle's city centre to Newcastle West under its urban renewal strategy.

“Wickham’s role continues to evolve from a once semi-industrial area at the outer fringe of the Newcastle City Centre into an urban neighbourhood supporting the emerging commercial hub within Newcastle West,” Cr Clausen said.

“We look forward to hearing from the community and working with key stakeholders like Greater Lifestyles of Wickham during the public exhibition period.”

City of Newcastle Manager Regulatory, Planning and Assessment Michelle Bisson said the updated Wickham Masterplan has revised the housing types within the Village Hub precinct and recommends an amendment to the Local Environmental Plan to facilitate a broader range of housing types, as has been raised in initial community feedback.

The updated Wickham Masterplan also deals more directly with the issue of mine subsidence. “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.

“Subsidence Advisory NSW’s advice is that a complex and expensive bulk grouting solution would be, required to remedy the undermined areas of Wickham, which would require State Government funding,” Ms Bisson said.