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Harbour to Cathedral corridor

We're looking to create a landmark destination for Newcastle that will protect and enhance views from the Harbour through to Christ Church Cathedral.

Harbour to Cathedral corridor

The Harbour to Cathedral concept (originally known as Stairway to Heaven), first developed fifteen years ago by a group of Novocastrian architects, proposes to link Christ Church Cathedral to the Harbour via a grand staircase.

The concept seeks to open-up connections and view lines from the Harbour foreshore and Hunter Street Mall to Christ Church Cathedral, aligning with long held strategic objectives of City of Newcastle (CN) and the NSW Government to connect the city to the harbour.

The Harbour to Cathedral vision is to:
• Create a landmark destination for the community and visitors to Newcastle
• Protect and enhance view corridors from the Harbour to Christ Church Cathedral
• Provide an accessible route from the waterfront to the Cathedral
• Retain 380 public car parking spaces in a centralised and convenient location
• Deliver new community facilities

A feasibility assessment has found that an integrated approach involving CN and Iris Capital owned land would provide the best outcome for our city. The proposed precinct for this integrated option, comprising 11,645m2, will allow a landmark new public space to be created to enhance the visual and physical connections to the Cathedral, and provides for 380 public car parking spaces and community facilities along with development of the site for residential, retail and commercial purposes. We’re working with Iris Capital on an in-principle agreement on the terms and conditions about how we might progress the concept.

Thanks for having your say

We recently asked the community for their feedback on the Harbour to Cathedral vision. Find out what the community had to say in our summary engagement report, or read the full engagement report.

Project stages

Frequently asked questions

The Harbour to Cathedral corridor concept (originally known as Stairway to Heaven), first developed fifteen years ago by a group of  Novocastrian architects, proposes to link Christ Church Cathedral to the Harbour via a grand staircase.

The 2021 vision for the concept imagines enhancing the main north-south view axis from the Harbour to the Cathedral via a 93 metre long and 20 metre wide public space and stairway extending from Hunter Street to King Street, with a series of plaza spaces providing places to gather and meet.

It retains 380 public car parking spaces located on the northern portion of the site (using the existing slope below King Street), a community facility, along with a new raised pedestrian connection along Laing Street integrated with the stairway.

The Harbour to Cathedral vision is to:

• Create a landmark destination for the community and visitors to Newcastle

• Protect and enhance view corridors from the Harbour to Christ Church Cathedral

• Provide an accessible route from the waterfront to the Cathedral

• Retain 380 public car parking spaces in a centralised and convenient location

• Deliver new community facilities

The concept would include multipurpose spaces for community use such as meetings, education, exercise classes and functions.

The idea for a grand staircase linking Hunter to King streets, and enhancing views to the Cathedral from the Harbour, came from the community back in 2006 when a group of Newcastle architects first put forward the idea.

The original 2006 concept has been reimagined into a 2021 vision to ensure it is a compelling and iconic opportunity for this prominent and highly valued heritage precinct that could transform the heart of Newcastle as a destination for the community and visitors.

We’ve undertaken initial engagement with stakeholders including the Newcastle Inner City Residents Alliance and City of Newcastle’s Assets Advisory Committee and Urban Design Consultative Group throughout the preliminary stage.

We will continue to engage key stakeholders and the community as the project progresses.

While still in its early stages, we’d like to hear what you think about the Harbour to Cathedral vision. Visit www.newcastle.gov.au/yoursay to have your say.

The 59 year-old ‘Mall Parking Station’ at 92 King Street is being demolished for safety reasons based on engineering advice.

Yes. It is envisaged that 380 public car parking spaces would be retained in a central and convenient location as part of the Harbour to Cathedral design concept. We are working with Iris Capital to ensure public car parking requirements are factored into planning for the Harbour to Cathedral concept and that the best outcome is achieved our city.

The future use of the Mall Parking Station site has not been determined. Iris Capital has concept planning approval for its East End Stage 3 development which will obscure the view of the Cathedral from the Harbour more so than the former King Street parking station.

While the view corridor is proposed to be protected and enhanced using a staircase due to the topography of the site, accessibility will be considered as a key element in the design to ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the space.

Iris Capital is developing Hunter Street Mall in stages and owns property within the Harbour to Cathedral view corridor. Working with Iris Capital allows us a once in a lifetime an opportunity to open up Christ Church Cathedral to the Harbour, protecting views to and showcasing this iconic building for future generations.

A feasibility assessment has found that an integrated approach involving City of Newcastle and Iris Capital owned land is the only way to deliver this concept for the city.

The Iris Capital East End development is a four-stage project that has been approved by the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel (at the concept level). Stage 1 of the development has been completed, and Stage 2 has been approved and construction is underway. The area affected by the Harbour to Cathedral corridor is predominantly Stages 3 and 4 of the East End concept.

The project is in its early stages. If agreement can be reached with Iris Capital, the project would then need to go through the normal approval processes before proceeding to construction. Timelines are not yet confirmed.

Contact us

Engagement team

Phone: 4974 2000
Email: mail@ncc.nsw.gov.au

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