What is the purpose of the draft Cardiff Strategic Planning Framework?

    • The draft Cardiff Strategic Framework (The Framework) brings together the NSW Government Movement and Place Framework and the Lake Macquarie City Council Local Strategic  Planning Statement to identify the opportunities in Cardiff centre and the surrounding neighbourhood.
    • The draft Framework is developed through an understanding of the existing and desired future character of Cardiff. Its implementation is set out in the accompanying draft Area Plan and draft Transport Management Plan, also on Exhibition.
    • The proposed Main Walk, new public spaces, active transport upgrades and street tree planting program would all serve to create a new Cardiff identity that is high amenity with increased walkability, reduced parking demand and increased pedestrian-based trade that supports community wellbeing and connection. 
    • In turn, high amenity street environments become a catalyst for further private investment in new dwellings, commercial buildings and new business.

    What Strategies and Plans underpin the draft Cardiff Strategic Planning Framework?

    • Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) identifies the broader strategic direction for Lake Macquarie being a city of vibrant centres. In particular, the LSPS identifies Cardiff playing an important economic and social role in the City, providing more opportunities for business development, diverse new housing that is convenient for walking or cycling to shops, jobs, services, community facilities, recreational and social activities, and in a location that provides convenient access to train and bus services.
    • The Lake Macquarie Housing Strategy 2020, identifies the significant potential of Cardiff to provide low-rise medium density housing close to shops, jobs and train and bus transport. This strategy also identifies the importance of high amenity and walkable streets and neighbourhoods to attract private investment in housing and to activate streets in centres.  
    • The Lake Macquarie Parking Strategy, adopted in 2018, recognises the difficulties of parking supply in and around Cardiff economic centre and railway station, and that improved walking and cycling infrastructure is part of the solution to be addressed in a TMP.
    • The State Government’s recent emphasis on their Movement and Place Framework is providing the lead for place-based planning. 
    • The Proposed transport infrastructure also aligns with the Draft Walking Cycling and Better Streets Strategy.
    • The draft Urban Greening Strategy being developed by Council will also enhance local liveability and walkability by prioritising tree shade cover for key walking routes and public spaces.

    What is the purpose of the draft Cardiff Area Plan?

    • The draft Area Plan supports the desired future character of Cardiff and is an integrated guide to development on private land. 
    • It outlines how the combination of buildings built to the front boundary, the establishment and improvement of public space, and pedestrian friendly infrastructure come together to deliver a new Cardiff identity. 
    • The document includes a consistent parking rate for business, office and retail premises, medical centres, health consulting rooms and community facilities. 
    • It also shows how the proposed Main Walk, Main Square, the planned Town Park, new cycle routes, pedestrian facilities, and public transit facilities provide an interconnected network of public spaces for Cardiff and improved accessibility to and within the centre. 
    • The intention is for the draft Area Plan to be inserted into the Lake Macquarie Development Control Plan 2014, if it is adopted by Council following exhibition.

    What is the purpose of the draft Transport Management Plan?

    • The draft Transport Management Plan (TMP) identifies the improvements needed for better, easier and safer walking, cycling and transit use, along with private and service vehicle parking, to support the outcomes contained in the draft Planning Framework and draft Area Plan. 
    • The draft TMP sets out the transport related projects for investigation, design and delivery. It also identifies opportunities for Council to improve parking and walking access for railway station users.

    What community consultation has taken place to develop these draft Plans?

    • Multiple external stakeholder groups have been engaged during preparation of the three plans, including the Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council, Youth Advisory Council, the Active Transport Advisory Group, Transport for NSW, Cardiff Business and Industry Group, Cardiff High School, and local business owners and operators.
    • In October-November 2019, 613 people responded to an online community survey regarding train travel and trips to the economic centre. 
    • The Parking Occupancy and Overstay Survey (November 2019) highlighted the areas of high demand, areas of under-utilisation and the frequent occurrence of overstays in time-restricted zones. 
    • Internally, early input was received from Council’s Mobility and Accessibility Portfolio Committee, Diverse Economy Portfolio Committee and Connected Communities Portfolio Committee. More recently, the draft Framework was presented to the Unique Landscape Portfolio Committee.

    What is the approach to parking in the Draft Transport Management Plan?

    • The community feedback from both surveys undertaken has informed the principles for use of on-street kerbside parking and the clarification of timed parking zones.
    • Close to the Cardiff centre and railway station, priority is given to spaces for buses, taxi and ride share users and short stay drivers of private and service vehicles. One- and two-hour timed parking for private vehicles is provided in existing carparks and in clear and simplified zones on-street within a short walk from shops. Unrestricted street parking suited to train travellers, local workers and longer visits is available within a five to 10-minute walk of destinations.
    • In the immediate railway station precinct, the draft Transport Management Plan proposes priority for safe and direct pedestrian routes that support easier and quicker walking access and egress.

    Why change the current on-street parking restrictions?

    The current restrictions are shown in this map and are quite complex and inconsistent. The simpler zoning outlined in the draft Transport Management Plan provides a clearer and more efficient experience for shoppers and businesses.

    How  are the new on-street zones better?

    The new zones are simpler and serve the greatest number of people.

    • Quick 15 minute turnover parking close to take away food businesses, the post office, and the newsagent on Main Road
    • One hour spaces are close to the shops and businesses for shorter visits
    • Two hour spaces are in the next zone 
    • Unrestricted parking is within a 5-10 minute walk for workers, train travellers and longer stay shoppers.

    Why is walking part of the parking solution?

    Everyone who arrives by car needs to be able to walk safely and comfortably to their destination. Pedestrian facilities like crossings and refuges make walking quicker, more convenient and safer. 

    A direct link like Main Walk will make walking choices easier to adopt. Shade and shelter from awnings and tree planting make walking more pleasant and appealing.

    What about parking in residential streets near the station?

    For parking in residential streets, the plan includes:

    • Line-marking driveways so residents have access to their properties at all times
    • New and improved footpaths and pedestrian facilities around the station and to the shops that benefit local residents.

    The plan recommends Council work with RailCorp to formalise and improve the parking at the end of Mary St near Myall Road.

    What is Cardiff Main Walk?

    • Cardiff Main Walk is a proposal to create a generous, safe, efficient and enjoyable walk that directly connects the station and the town centre: a walkway that becomes the Main Road centrepiece for Cardiff.
    • It is an initiative that supports more people living within comfortable safe walking distance of shops, services, community facilities and public transport, and is in line with Council’s strategic directions set out in the Lake Macquarie Local Strategic Planning Statement.
    • Cardiff Main Walk features heavily in the current documents on Public Exhibition, however the infrastructure has not yet been formally approved by Council.

    How would the Main Walk infrastructure be funded?

    Cardiff Main Walk would be a prime contender for grant funding related to walkability, public transit and/or main street activity.  It is proposed to seek a high-level cost estimate to help identify future funding potential. 

    Integrated Planning is also reviewing development contributions processes related to public domain projects.  This project would be assessed on its contribution to strategic directions for the centre: especially for walkability, community connectedness, wellbeing, and greater economic activity.

    If Cardiff Main Walk is formally approved by Council, how will the community continue to be consulted?

    Cardiff Main Walk is potentially a centrepiece for Cardiff that could deliver multiple benefits for the community.  It is part of a broader view of opportunities for safer, more convenient and more pleasant walking, cycling, sitting, meeting, outdoor trading and dining: and ultimately part of greater community wellbeing. 

    Within Council engagement is continuing with other departments including Asset Management, Compliance, Property, and Recreation Planning. 

    Once approved by Council, external engagement would occur with:

    • Transport for NSW regarding alignment of Cardiff Main Walk proposal with the NSW Movement and Place framework 
    • Transport Assets Holding Entity regarding use of rail land at the station 
    • local community groups regarding access to facilities and services
    • nearby residents regarding walking and parking on local streets 
    • the Northlakes Chamber of Commerce regarding business activity and the aim of inviting community to town
    • selected traders and businesses regarding new business opportunities.