Revitalising Newcastle Video Newcastle is the second biggest city in NSW, and its city centre is expected to accommodate an additional 10,000 jobs and 6,000 homes by 2036.
Its location and setting between the river and the ocean make it a compact, unique and people-friendly city with the potential to be a vibrant economic, residential and tourist hub of international standard.
In 2012, the NSW Government announced the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy, which is a 25 year plan to revitalise Newcastle, reinforce its role as a 21st century regional centre and provide a framework to create the jobs and homes needed by 2036.
The strategy will be updated as infrastructure and other developments emerge in Newcastle. These updates may involve community consultation, depending on the nature of the work required.
Planning proposals on exhibition
The community has the opportunity to comment on these planning proposals and projects:
Planning and Infrastructure is proposing a change to the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) in response to issues raised when the draft Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy was publicly exhibited for feedback.The proposed changes aim to enable and encourage projects on key sites which will have wider economic and community benefits.
The changes proposed include:
- increasing the floor space ratio on the University of Newcastle city campus site (409 Hunter Street) to meet future capacity needs
- increasing height across parts of the GPT Group and UrbanGrowth NSW sites in the East End to kick-start redevelopment around Hunter Street Mall, while protecting significant views
- minor amendments to existing city centre LEP clauses, including the thresholds that trigger architectural design competitions
- consolidation of the planning controls in the Newcastle city centre to achieve better development outcomes
Planning and Infrastructure is proposing an amendment to the Newcastle DCP 2012 city centre controls to enable some aspects of the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy to be implemented.
It is proposed that a new section be added to the DCP to consolidate and replace three existing city centre DCP sections, and integrate place-based planning for Newcastle East, Honeysuckle and Newcastle West.
The proposed new section is called “Section 6.01 Newcastle City Centre” and contains a comprehensive set of planning and design guidance derived from the characteristic features of the distinct areas within the city centre. It includes performance criteria that explain the planning outcomes to be achieved, with acceptable solutions that illustrate the preferred ways to satisfy the corresponding performance criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions: A more vibrant city centre for Newcastle
More about the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy
The Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy was developed by Planning & Infrastructure in consultation with the City of Newcastle, key NSW Government agencies and the community.
The strategy does not point to a single solution to renew the city centre, but focuses instead on a number of integrated initiatives that could stimulate positive change.
Download the strategy
Minister Hazzard announces Newcastle's Urban Renewal 2012
[Part 1 - 8MB] [Part 2 - 10MB] [Part 3 - 2MB] [Part 4 - 4MB] [Part 5 - 10MB] [Part 6 - 2MB]
Newcastle Precinct Map
Urban renewal initiatives included in the strategy:
- re-establish Hunter Street as Newcastle’s main street
- revitalise Hunter Street Mall and the East End to encourage a boutique retail, entertainment, leisure and residential precinct
- diversify the city’s economy
- promoting a university presence and educational hub at Civic
- position the West End as the city’s future CBD
- recognise Newcastle’s heritage as an asset
- promote a shift to public transport and create a connected pedestrian and cyclist network
The NSW Government has made a number of announcements related to the strategy, including:
- a new multi-modal transport interchange at Wickham
- light rail between Wickham interchange and the beach
- state and federal government funding towards the relocation of University of Newcastle city campus, law and business faculties to Civic
- UrbanGrowth NSW to facilitate master planning and redevelopment of landholdings around Hunter Street Mall in the East End
The community’s involvement in the development of the strategy
The Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy and associated draft amendments to the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) were publicly exhibited for five months from 14 December 2012 until 19 April 2013. Two community sessions held in Newcastle were attended by more than 400 people.
Planning and Infrastructure received 420 submissions during the exhibition period. The majority of the feedback was in relation to the termination of the rail line at Wickham. Concerns about land use and zoning, heritage and funding were also raised.
Feedback on the strategy was overwhelmingly supportive of the urban renewal initiatives and the proposed planning amendments.
Planning and Infrastructure continues to engage with stakeholders on their feedback
The Newcastle Urban renewal strategy and the Newcastle light rail project
One of the most important components of the NSW Government’s initiatives to renew Newcastle city centre is an “integrative transport solution” to better connect the city centre and the waterfront.
In 2013, the NSW Government announced it would truncate the heavy rail line and introduce light rail to the city centre between Wickham and Newcastle Beach.
Light rail in Newcastle will support urban renewal and improve connections to the waterfront as well as increasing public transport choice.
The Newcastle light rail project, including route development and community consultation, is being managed by UrbanGrowth NSW.
Funding the revitalization of Newcastle
The NSW Government’s funding commitment for Newcastle’s city centre has been enabled by the long-term leasing of the ports, as announced in the 2013-14 State budget. Additional funds to support improvements across the city centre will be provided through developer contributions, planning agreements and grant funding.
Planning & Infrastructure will continue to work with the City of Newcastle and other key stakeholders to update the strategy.
The strategy will be updated to reflect the outcomes of the light rail project.
Planning and Infrastructure is also updating an implementation plan to provide a delivery framework for renewal over the life of the strategy.