02 4974 2000Phone enquiries 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Kotara Local Character Study

We're conducting a Local Character Study for Kotara. Have your say and tell us about the existing character of Kotara and the desired future character of the area.

Kotara Local Character Study

Due to current COVID situation, we have postponed the planned workshops. See here for more information.

Help shape tomorrow's Kotara

Character is a critical element of our neighbourhoods that needs to be understood and considered while planning for change in the City of Newcastle. All areas have character and to help with future development approvals, we want to understand what aspects of the buildings in your local area you value and want to retain while our city continues to evolve and change.

Council needs to hear what is most important to you about the combination of buildings in Kotara and how they are used. This can be described by qualities such as land uses, architectural styles, building densities, height, types, materials, setbacks and landscaping.

The scope of local character to be considered will be constrained to outcomes that can be realised through the local environmental plan and development control plan. This includes land use type, form and design.

The area surrounding Westfield and the industrial area has been designated a ‘Catalyst Area’ by the Department of Planning. Planning for this area will be addressed through a separate study at a later date so is not in the scope of the Kotara Local Character Study. Further information on this area can be found in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan and the City of Newcastle Local Strategic Planning Statement.

This study is a two-stage project, with Kotara being part of the pilot. As participants in the pilot you will help us review and refine the study before we replicate it across the council area.

Get involved

Online engagement
Use our interactive map to pinpoint locations within Kotara that are good examples of the character of Kotara, identify unique features of the suburb and highlight changes you are seeing (both the good and the bad!):


Answer our questions below, helping to provide background that will be used in the Workshops:

Everyone who enjoys Kotara, including residents, workers, students and park users are invited to two workshops. You will help put into words the character of Kotara and inform the urban planning future for Kotara.

Unfortunately due to the current COVID situation we have had to postpone the workshops planned for the 14th and 28th of July.

Please view the below presentation for an introduction to local character and the importance of the study in Kotara. In the presentation we also address some of the questions we have received and invite further feedback.

If you were not already registered for the workshops and would like to be kept up to date on this project, please submit your information below.

The character of Kotara is constantly changing, with some elements of the history being retained for longer than others. Have a look into the past with the photos below and think about how it has created the Kotara we see today.

Have your say:
• Online engagement
• Workshop registration

Frequently asked questions

Local character considers the way a place looks and feels; it is the identity of a place and what makes a neighbourhood distinctive. Understanding local character allows councils and communities to agree on their desired future and how an area will change over time.

This study is focused on the aspects of character influenced by urban planning controls, primarily the buildings and the open space around them. These are controlled by local councils through the Local Environment Plan, Development Control Plan and other strategic planning documents like the Local Strategic Planning Statement.

When this pilot project is completed at Kotara, City of Newcastle will consider the feedback received from the community, review the engagement activities and commence engagement across the council area in the second half of 2021 and first half of 2022. How the council wide study is undertaken will depend on the findings of the Kotara pilot (and the Tighes Hill pilot conducted in April-May 2021) so further information cannot be provided at this stage.

Project timeline

Late 2021 - Mid 2022
LGA wide local character study
Mid 2022 - End 2022
Final study completed including recommendations

Contact us

Stella Fielding

Urban Planner

Phone: 02 4974 2000
Email: engage@ncc.nsw.gov.au

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