What's happening at Orchardtown Road?
We are improving safety and the look and feel of Blackbutt Village, Orchardtown Road, New Lambton as part of our Local Centres program.
Key features of our upgrade include:
- A new 40km/hr zone, making it safer for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
- An off-road shared pedestrian and cycle path.
- A new pedestrian crossing, providing a safer link between the western car park and the shops.
- Footpath connections to Blackbutt Reserve and Richley Reserve.
- Wider footpaths and new plazas to improve outdoor dining and promote activation of the centre.
- Renewal of drainage, kerb, gutter, road, lighting, and street furniture.
- Improvements to the natural environment and increased shade with additional tree planting and ground cover, including 109 new trees and 23 garden beds.
What is the current status?
Construction commenced in March 2022.
- New footpaths and the planting of street trees on Freyberg Street and Dunkley Avenue are now complete.
- Upgrades to drainage and parking in the western car park to improve access for pedestrians and shoppers is underway.
- Some existing trees in Freyberg Street, Dunkley Ave and the western car park have been removed due to either current poor condition or because planned works surrounding the tree would mean the deterioration in the health of the tree.
- Around 130 new trees will be planted, as part of the upgrade, to improve the natural environment and increase shade in the area. Many of these new trees have already been planted along Freyberg Street and Dunkley Avenue.
- Works will commence to build a new connecting shared footpath/cycleway along Orchardtown Road, which requires the permanent closure of the Dunkley Ave access to the western car park. Access to the car park and Dunkley Ave from Orchardtown Road will now be via Blamey Avenue.
Work will progress in stages across the Local Centre area. We will provide updates to businesses and residents in advance of works commence in their area.
As we deliver these works there will be diversions in place, and noise from machinery. Please follow the directions of signage and our team on site.
Find out more about the project with our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
At the request of local businesses, temporary 2hr parking in the western car park is being introduced to maintain car space turnover during construction works.
This change is for the construction period only and is not a permanent change to timed parking. Feedback from the community survey on permanent timed parking in the area will be used to inform recommendations to the Newcastle Traffic Committee in November.
Thank you for having your say
During earlier consultation we heard the availability of safe parking options is important. We recently sought feedback from local businesses, and then we ran an online survey to gather community feedback on a range of options for the structure of timed (not paid) parking in the area. The survey closed on 1 August 2022, and we will share outcomes from this following review of the feedback.
5 July 2022 - Community feedback sought on parking at Blackbutt Village
15 June 2022 - Improved connection to Richley Reserve as Blackbutt Village upgrade progresses
28 Feb 2022 - Multimillion dollar Blackbutt Village upgrade ready to commence
We ran an online survey in December 2017 to gain feedback from the community about issues related to the public domain and priorities for improvements. In June 2019 we undertook place experience (PX) surveys with 50 community members to gather further community input. You can view the results in the PX2 Assessment.
The information provided by the community was used with data gathered from a site analysis to inform the draft Blackbutt Village, Orchardtown Road Public Domain and Traffic Plan which was on public exhibition for community comment from 2 March 2020 until 23 April 2020. A community workshop scheduled for 28 March 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 and instead a visioning survey was undertaken online with community members who had signed up for the workshop.
The exhibition results have been analysed and are available in the following reports:
Following the public exhibition, we finalised the Public Domain Plan in line with community submissions. The final Public Domain Plan was adopted by the elected Council on 22 September 2020. We then completed our design, and commenced construction in March 2022.
The Public Domain Planning Process Flow Chart (pdf) outlines the process in more detail.