Gosford waterfront revitalisation – moving forward

by LukeAdmin

Gosford’s waterfront revitalisation project is moving forward following very positive community feedback to ‘just get on with it’!

At last night’s Ordinary Council meeting, 28 February 2023, a summary of the Community Engagement report was tabled, which provided an insight into both the general public and business responses to the adopted Concept Plan for the project. This report expands on the preliminary engagement summary reported to Council’s 13 December 2022 meeting.

Council’s Director Environment and Planning Alice Howe said the community consultation provided important feedback, including good suggestions to improve on the Concept Plan.

“Without a doubt there is strong support for a revitalised waterfront – which will form an anchor of a revitalised Gosford CBD.

“Feedback received during the public exhibition of the Gosford Waterfront and Stadium Concept Plan opt-in consultation and independent market research survey, revealed 81.5% and 93% positive feedback, respectively.

“The feedback included comments and suggestions on the need for additional parking, support for increased recreational opportunities along the waterfront, how to address the Central Coast Highway ‘barrier’ to ensure easy connections to the waterfront from the CBD, and also the question of public land being used for residential development.”

Dr Howe said the feedback received through this initial consultation phase and subsequent phases will inform the next level of detail for the initiative, which is a detailed masterplan and business case, down the track, with further opportunities for community input as the project progresses.

Central Coast CEO, David Farmer said the re-imagining of the Gosford waterfront is a long-term project that will stimulate significant employment and economic activity through the planning, development and operational phases.

“Gosford is recognised as the Central Coast’s principal city in the NSW Government’s vision for Greater Cities region. For Gosford to realise its potential, it must be connected to its waterfront, and the waterfront must be a place for people.

“The recent funding commitment by the NSW Government for a new University of Newcastle Gosford campus and new TAFE, adds to the already more than $1.3 billion in mixed use development approved in Gosford’s CBD.

“Gosford’s waterfront integrates and enhances these investments positioning Gosford as the principal city delivering higher order jobs, first class healthcare and education for the region.”

Mr Farmer said at the Council meeting, it was also resolved that to maintain the momentum of the project, Council would provide extra funds to enable commencement of the early works elements required to support the business case, with Council continuing to advocate for NSW Government funding for the project.

“Council resolved to increase the budget allocation to this project by $2,218,000, with the funds coming from Council’s Land Development Reserve, which was established through the sale of Kibbleplex.

“The application of funds from this Reserve to the waterfront project is consistent with the intended Reserve purpose. Should Council receive funding from the NSW Government for the waterfront project, it is intended that the Land Development Reserve would be reimbursed.

“We want to be very clear with the community; however, while Council has committed this funding to take the next step, this is not a project Council will deliver. We are doing the early work, but the intention is to hand this project over to an experienced Government agency to take the lead as soon as practicable,” Mr Farmer said.

Central Coast Council Administrator Rik Hart said he is very pleased that the project has got the go-ahead from the community, and applauded the valuable contributions to improving the project, which will be fed into the Master Plan.

“Revitalisation of the Gosford waterfront is the Central Coast’s key enabling project. It reimagines the waterfront as not only a major opportunity for the city’s renewal, but a chance for Gosford City to join the great waterfronts of the world.

“Now that we know there is strong support from both the general public and business community for this project to continue, we urge whomever forms government after the March 2023 NSW state election to provide $8.5 million to undertake a business case and Master Plan for the Gosford Waterfront precinct.”

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