Consultation has commenced with community stakeholders at Waratah Local Centre as the City of Newcastle seeks to improve safety, parking and public spaces in the area.
Council revealed the draft Public Domain Plan would gauge the values, issues and priorities of residents and businesses, informing the revitalisation of the area surrounding Station Street during future construction.
Councillor, Peta Winney-Baartz, said the future upgrade aims to create a more accessible, attractive and safe local centre for the Waratah community.
“Our public domain plan will upgrade the streetscape and improve access to shops and address traffic and safety in the area,” Cr Winney-Baartz said.
“Our upgrades often include new footpaths, trees and street furniture…so the community must share their feedback about what they would like to see.
“By improving the area’s functionality, look, and feel, we hope to see more people visiting and spending time at the local centre.”
The planned upgrade at Waratah follows similar local centre upgrades at Carrington, Kotara, Merewether and Hamilton.
Upgrades are currently under construction in Stockton, Shortland and Orchardtown Road in New Lambton.
Council’s Local Centres Public Domain Program guides safety and streetscape upgrades of local and neighbourhood centres throughout the Newcastle LGA, which play an important role in the community and local economy.
In June 2021, the elected Council resolved to initiate the upgrade of the Waratah town centre, and a community survey was conducted in late 2021 for similar upgrades at Georgetown.
Once developed, the Waratah Local Centre draft Public Domain Plan will go on public exhibition and be finalised based on community feedback.
It will then go to the elected Council for approval, ahead of construction in the coming years.
The centre upgrade is among a raft of improvement projects that Waratah is undergoing under the supervision of local and state governments.
The Waratah Train Station was recently transformed in December 2020 as part of the Transport Access Program, an initiative by the NSW Transport to “provide a better experience for public transport customers by delivering modern, safe and accessible infrastructure”.
As part of the Transport Access Program, three new lifts, a new walkway, pedestrian pathways, improvements to CCTV and lighting, an accessible parking space and new toilets were installed.
A $3.48 million transformation of two ageing Waratah West homes into a modern 10-unit social housing complex is also underway, with construction on the Landa Parade project seeing two separate properties redeveloped into a low-rise accessible building.
The announcement by the State Government on May 5 said the properties would feature six two-bedroom units and four one-bedroom units for up to 16 residents as part of the NSW Government’s $250 million mission to fast track the delivery of homes across the state.
Waratah businesses and residents have been encouraged to participate in the local centre online survey before it closes on June 13.