What is a master plan?

    A master plan is a document that guides the management and future renewal of an area. It is a process that defines what is important about a place and how its character and quality can be conserved, improved and enhanced whilst providing for the facilities and services needed by the community and visitors to the area.

    What area is covered in these master plans?

    The master plans address two sites at Catherine Hill Bay, being the Sport and Recreation Precinct at Middle Camp and the Surf Life Saving Club Precinct.

    Click on the image below to download the map.

    The red outline indicates the precinct area, with the blue outline indicating land intended to be dedicated to, or potentially acquired by Council.

    What consultation has been undertaken to this point?

    There have been two rounds of community consultation to get to this point:

    The focus of the initial consultation was to understand the values of the two precincts and how these areas can best meet the future needs of the community and visitors to the area. The process also sought to obtain initial ideas and directions which were developed into “concept plans” that formed a basis for the secondary consultation.

    The focus of the secondary consultation was to test the ideas presented in the discussion paper and draft concept plan and to understand where improvements can be made prior to the Draft Master Plan being developed.

    What is included in the scope of the Catherine Hill Bay Sports and Recreation and Surf Life Saving Club precinct master plans?

    The primary focus of the master plans will be the provision of new and improved community, sport and recreation facilities including those identified in the Contribution Plans that suitably address the uniqueness and planning constraints of the area.

    The master plan will also explore with the community, opportunities to enhance the experience of those that visit the area. 

    Who is developing the master plans?

    Lake Macquarie City Council has engaged Locale Consulting to work with the community, key stakeholders and Council to develop master plans for the two sites at Catherine Hill Bay.

    Will a new Surf Life Saving Club building need to be built in an alternative location to address coastal risks?

    Studies indicate that with appropriate engineering controls, a new Surf Life Saving Club building can be rebuilt in its current location. Heritage advice suggests that a similar scale and footprint would be appropriate for this facility, and this will be a starting point for community discussion.  

    What happens following adoption of the master plan?

    The current precinct master planning process is in the initial stage of an ongoing process of engagement, design, approval and implementation.

    Following adoption of the master plans in late 2022, Council will begin detailed design and seek the necessary planning approvals.

    Priorities for delivery will be determined during the development of the master plan and will be subject to the availability of funding.

    The detailed design stage will address the unique site characteristics and values in further detail, in consultation with relevant heritage bodies including Heritage NSW. 

    What funding does Council have to deliver the master plan proposals?

    A level of funding has been identified in the Belmont Contributions Plan and draft North Wallarah Contributions Plan for:

    • a new play space and expanded sportsgrounds at Middle Camp,
    • a new Surf Life Saving Building, associated parking and coastal reserve and 
    • community space at either Middle Camp or as part of the new SLSC.  

    The availability of funding will be dependent on the outcome of the final master plan and timing linked to delivery of residential development in the catchment.  Where additional funding is required, Council will seek funding through grants and other allocations as part of their broader planning processes and LGA wide priorities. 

    How do the initial draft concept plans address the State Heritage Cultural Precinct?

    The concept plans have sought to suitably address and celebrate the heritage significance and values of the Cultural Precinct.  This includes the location and scale of proposed buildings and infrastructure and opportunities for interpretation.

    Key initiatives include:

    • the interpretation of the former Wallarah Colliery Railway through a sympathetically designed heritage walking trail and nodes where heritage information can be provided and integrated  
    • establishment of a community hub which acknowledges the social, cultural and heritage significance of the former Catherine Hill Bay Bowling Club
    • recognition of First Nations through interpretive elements.

     The layout of facilities is a balance between the needs and desires of the community, heritage and environmental considerations.  Whether this balance has been achieved will be tested through the second phase of community consultation. 

    What discussions have been undertaken or planned to be undertaken with Heritage NSW?

    Council has liaised with Heritage NSW regarding how and when they might be involved in the master plan process. Heritage NSW has a statutory role to assess the plans when submitted as part of a Section 60 development application. 

     Prior to the submission of a Section 60 application, Heritage NSW have indicated that they are willing to provide feedback on the draft concept plans, but does not have a role in overseeing or endorsing the final master plan.

    Does Council intend to pursue acquisition of land at 15 Hale Street to deliver the proposals in the master plan?

    A section of private land (part of land known as 15 Hale Street) has been identified for acquisition in the developer contributions plans to provide for the relocation of the SLSC out of the Coastal Hazard Zone and expansion of the coastal park.  A geotechnical assessment has concluded that with certain engineering controls a new SLSC can be rebuilt in the same area as the existing footprint. This is a preferable option from a heritage and visual impact perspective.

    Acquisition of part of 15 Hale Street is still required to facilitate the safe and efficient operation of the precinct.   This includes the ability to accommodate the spatial needs of the new SLSC building, pedestrian and vehicle circulation and car parking in addition to providing open space for passive recreation and enjoyment of the views afforded from this area.

    Does Council intend to pursue acquisition of land at Middle Camp to deliver the proposals in the master plan?

    The master plan area for the Sport and Recreation Precinct, Middle Camp incorporates private land identified in the Belmont Contributions Plan for acquisition by Council.

    Acquisition of the land is associated with triggers for the residential subdivision development at Middle Camp. In cases where these triggers are not met, there is potential that the land will remain in private ownership.

    Acquisition of land at Middle Camp was identified for the purposes of expanding the sports facilities and providing beach access.   Consideration will need to be given to the future acquisition of all or part of the land on the basis of what facilities can be achieved on the existing Council land and what is required for beach access.

    Council has developed the draft concept plans at the Sports and Recreation Precinct on the basis of delivering the key objectives with or without the adjacent private land to ensure that facilities can be delivered in a timely manner.