What is a Master Plan?

A Master Plan is a document that provides the overall vision for improvements and upgrades to an area and guides the future detailed design and works for an area.  Master Plans exist for a range of areas in the City including Speers Point Park and Warners Bay Foreshore.

What is the scope of the Master Plan works?

Council has approximately $9 million from developer contributions to invest in Foreshore improvements. This could include facilities such as shared pathways, playgrounds, fitness stations, boardwalks, picnic tables, barbecues, park benches, landscaping and public art, or structures to improve dining and entertainment options such as a café, restaurant or infrastructure for festivals and events.

We are also seeking feedback on how the development proposed for the site encompassed by 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row will integrate with the upgraded Toronto Foreshore precinct.

What is happening on the Toronto Foreshore?

Council wants to make the Toronto Foreshore a more inviting place for people by improving access and amenities and creating enticing destination points along the waterfront precinct from Brighton Avenue to Bath Street.

To do this, we will develop, with the community’s input, a Master Plan for the Toronto Foreshore, as well as exploring the opportunities for a mixed-use development on Council-owned land at the Bath Street end of the precinct.

How will the community be involved in planning?

Council is committed to working with the community to shape Toronto’s Foreshore. In 2018, Phase One consultation was conducted allowing the community to have their say on the facilities, amenities and type of environment they would like to see along the Foreshore.

Further opportunities for community engagement will be available as the projects progress. A design consultant was appointed to the project in late 2018 and further community consultation to inform the detailed design will be undertaken by the design consultant in mid-2019.

A range of community engagement methods will be used to ensure that as many community members as possible have an opportunity to participate.

What are the next steps in the process to develop the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan?

It is anticipated Phase two community engagement for the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan will begin later this year and will provide the community the opportunity to be involved in the development of the concept designs for the Foreshore as well as the interaction between the Foreshore and the proposed development.

What community consultation has been undertaken?

We have undertaken consultation with the Toronto community in relation to the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan and the interface between the proposed development. Throughout August and September 2018, we held four community drop-in sessions, and sought feedback through an online survey and interactive map regarding community-desired improvements for the foreshore at Toronto.

From this consultation, there are a multitude of ideas and preferences for the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan and the proposed development site. A full summary of feedback received during phase one of the community consultation is available for download from https://shape.lakemac.com.au/future-toronto.

From late 2019, the community will have further opportunities to provide feedback on the interface between the proposed development and the adjacent foreshore land classified for community use.

What is the Urban Design Analysis?

The independently compiled Urban Design Analysis provides key information that will be used to guide the precinct’s future.

The analysis outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the foreshore area, its buildings, topography and vegetation, and its connectivity to surrounding streets.

The Urban Design Analysis, together with feedback received during phase one of our community consultation last year, will inform initial concepts for our Toronto Foreshore Master Plan.

What is proposed for the Bath Street site?

The concept proposal for the Bath Street site is for a medium-density development including a mix of residential, tourist and commercial space. It will be developed with the aim of activating the area, improving pedestrian access and linkages, and creating job opportunities by stimulating tourism and economic activity.

Why has a development of this nature been proposed for this site?

The proposed development is part of a larger plan to bring people to the Toronto Foreshore. It will create a destination point linked to the main business district and enhance the City’s visitor economy by filling a need for premium waterfront accommodation. The development will provide a range of opportunities including accommodation, retail and dining experiences, new residential options and employment into the future through the creation of additional business opportunities.

Why is Council seeking to undertake a commercial development?

Lake Macquarie City Council has a long history of undertaking successful commercial endeavours such as property development within our Local Government Area to meet planning objectives.

The proposed Bath Street development is consistent with planning principles outlined in Council policies and the City Values: it will contribute to economic diversification, broaden our tourism offering, increase housing choice and enhance the vibrancy and character of the town centre.

How will public access to the waterfront be affected?

Council is seeking to improve public access to what is an under-used part of the waterfront through the development of the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan. Currently, access to a large part of the Toronto Foreshore between Edward Gain Park and Bath Street is restricted, with no formal pathways and many sections that are uneven and overgrown.

More than 90 per cent of the Foreshore land will remain open public space under Council’s plans and the Foreshore will become a more accessible and enjoyable area that complements its picturesque lakeside location.

Less than 10 per cent of the land area is intended for the proposed development project. A foreshore buffer in front of the building will ensure public access is retained.

What will happen to the Heritage Hunter Water Sewer Pump on 1B Victory Row?

Council is liaising with Hunter Water to determine the most appropriate outcome for this asset.  The options will be investigated in more detail once Council commences detailed design and master planning of the Foreshore.

Will the Aboriginal community be consulted on the proposal?

Yes, the traditional owners of the land have been consulted as part of the preliminary investigations and will continue to have input into Council’s plans for the area.

Did any consultation occur prior to Council’s decision in April 2018 to develop a concept proposal for the development site?

Council undertook preliminary investigations and feasibility studies into uses of the site in order to prepare a report for Councillors. This involved engagement and discussion with some stakeholders within the community, including local landholders, tourism operators and traditional land owners.

Council often undertakes feasibility studies for projects across the Local Government Area. If projects are deemed to be potentially viable, plans are then developed in greater detail and extensive community consultation is undertaken at this stage.

What will happen next with the proposed mixed-use development?

Council has approved the development of a concept design for the Bath Street site. The community will have further opportunity to provide feedback on this proposal once the project reaches the Development Application stage. The project will be determined independently of Council by the Regional Planning Panel.

What are the time frames associated with the improvement works on the foreshore?

It is anticipated that the Master Plan will be  prepared and adopted by Council in 2019. Detailed design and relevant approvals are expected to be completed during 2019/2020.  A staged construction program will follow over several years.

Why has Council allocated $25M in its draft Operational Plan 2019/2020 to the Bath Street development, if it is still carrying out investigations?

Council’s Long Term Financial Plan proposes $22M in 2022-2023 for the projected construction cost of a proposed mixed-use development at 4 Bath Street and 1B Victory Row, Toronto. As the design phase continues to progress, this estimate will be adjusted accordingly. Council has also set aside $9M in Section 7.11 funds to develop and implement the Toronto Foreshore Master Plan.

It’s sensible for Council to ensure we have the resources and budget available before we proceed to the development application process.

Council will continue to consider the feasibility of the proposed development throughout the design and assessment process. As the project continues to progress, the budget estimate will be adjusted accordingly. Council reviews its budget quarterly and its long term financial plan annually, including funds allocated for major projects.

How long has Council been considering a commercial/tourism development for Toronto Foreshore?

Since 1982, Council has been acquiring land to provide a consolidated land holding located at the northern end of the Toronto foreshore to enable a worthwhile tourist development to be pursued to act as a stimulant for investment and an attractor to the foreshore and the Toronto Town Centre. 4 Bath St (zoned SP3 Tourist) and 1B Victory Row (zoned B2 Local Centre) (“mixed use development site”) have been identified as the ideal location for the development to be undertaken. Through consultation with architects and feasibility consultants, a development scheme comprising a mixed-use residential, tourism and commercial building was identified. This site now is to be progressed through to obtaining development consent and Construction Certificate for the development.

The mixed-use development and foreshore master plan project have been combined to ensure they correctly interface and integrate with one another.

Why is Council releasing the Environmental Constraints Study and Traffic Study now and why didn’t it release the documents sooner?

The documents released on 20 May 2019 compiled in 2017, were part of an initial feasibility study for the Toronto Foreshore Project, but no longer accurately reflect the options under investigation.

Further analysis and community feedback has indicated that some options raised in the Environmental Constraints Study and Traffic Study were not appropriate solutions.

Council is releasing the redacted documents to balance transparency with commercial confidentiality, and to provide further background on the Toronto Foreshore Project.