Planning for the future of Warners Bay

Consultation has concluded

Lake Macquarie City Council endorsed new planning guidelines for Warners Bay at the 11 May 2015 Council meeting.

Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope, said the planning documents – Warners Bay Town Centre Planning Framework, Warners Bay Town Centre Area Plan and Warners Bay Town Centre Streetscape Master Plan – show Council’s commitment to ensuring Warners Bay is a vibrant Lake-side destination. After two years of consultation, the plans provide a comprehensive framework for business owners, landowners and customers to contribute to the success of the town centre.

“The changes outlined include a sunny public plaza with surrounding shops, cafes and apartments, improved walking and bike access to the town centre and foreshore, setback and height controls for future buildings, and car parking,” Ms Pope said.

Major improvements for streets and public space are expected to happen as new developments occur and provide the catalyst to implement changes.”

Key proposals in the approved documents include:


  • public plaza next to the present Post Office, with height controls on surrounding buildings to protect sun access;
  • widening and improvements to the footpath and outdoor trading areas along The Esplanade;
  • improved cycling links from King Street to the town centre, Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre and the foreshore;
  • ways to manage parking provision and demand; and
  • controls for quality buildings ranging in height from three to eight storeys.


To view the documents adopted by Council, visit http://www.lakemac.com.au/page.aspx?pid=113&vid=10.



Lake Macquarie City Council endorsed new planning guidelines for Warners Bay at the 11 May 2015 Council meeting.

Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope, said the planning documents – Warners Bay Town Centre Planning Framework, Warners Bay Town Centre Area Plan and Warners Bay Town Centre Streetscape Master Plan – show Council’s commitment to ensuring Warners Bay is a vibrant Lake-side destination. After two years of consultation, the plans provide a comprehensive framework for business owners, landowners and customers to contribute to the success of the town centre.

“The changes outlined include a sunny public plaza with surrounding shops, cafes and apartments, improved walking and bike access to the town centre and foreshore, setback and height controls for future buildings, and car parking,” Ms Pope said.

Major improvements for streets and public space are expected to happen as new developments occur and provide the catalyst to implement changes.”

Key proposals in the approved documents include:


  • public plaza next to the present Post Office, with height controls on surrounding buildings to protect sun access;
  • widening and improvements to the footpath and outdoor trading areas along The Esplanade;
  • improved cycling links from King Street to the town centre, Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre and the foreshore;
  • ways to manage parking provision and demand; and
  • controls for quality buildings ranging in height from three to eight storeys.


To view the documents adopted by Council, visit http://www.lakemac.com.au/page.aspx?pid=113&vid=10.



CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • A recent media release reported that a 5 star hotel was one of the proposals for the car park area in John Street Warners Bay. Would you please be able to expand on this report.

    stevomike asked over 4 years ago

    Thank you for your question. The Warners Bay Chamber of Commerce has been investigating the possibility of a hotel forming part of a development on the John Street car park. The owners of the car park (Council and Auscoal Superannuation) have not decided on any specific development proposal for the site.

    The Warners Bay Area Plan was adopted by Council on Monday 11 May 2015 which sets the guidelines for the future growth and development in the whole town centre. The Area Plan provides establishes the controls for building heights, setbacks and appearance.

    From the project team.




  • Can The Esplanade in front of the shops and fronting the shoreline be made into a mall? And why do the building heights in the proposed plan have to be 5 and 6 storeys high? I agree that something must be done but we don't want to destroy the "village feel". If we could have buildings with some sort of theme (like oldie worldie) rather than rendered concrete blocks.

    Oldie asked almost 5 years ago

    Thanks for your questions Oldie.

    Regarding The Esplanade – it is a State Government-controlled main road which carries 20,000 vehicles per day. The Roads and Maritime Service have advised that closing or reducing the capacity of The Esplanade is not an option.

    Regarding building heights – An Economic Development study was undertaken which outlined what circumstances needed to exist for viable development to occur.

    Council is also required to consider the high level strategic objectives for town centres contained in the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy and Lifestyle 2030 Strategy, which includes reinforcing and strengthening town centres as places for higher density living, providing for job demand and more services. Another strategic consideration is where is it best to accommodate projected population growth and demand for jobs and retail and office space. The strategic planning documents state that a large proportion of population and job growth should be accommodated in town centres and existing urban areas.

    Analysis identified the highly fragmented land ownership and variable lot sizes in the town centre which lead to certain sites/areas being identified as more likely to re-develop. Economic Development advice also stated that a certain building height is required for investment in quality buildings. Controls are proposed to ensure building design and appearance reflects the lakeside character of Warners Bay.

    Thanks, Kate

  • Has anyone suggested a cinema? Surely this part of the lake could support an independent cinema complex like the Greater Union on King Street in Newcastle. We are starved of everything but mainstream films here and then need to travel to Charlestown (apart from Lake Cinema at Boolaroo). I also believe we need a better entertainment facility. The hall has served its purpose (built in 1960s, renovated 1980s?) and like much of Warners Bay, seen better days. If we want to attract smarter, tuned in people we need to provide better quality products on all fronts - food, entertainment, housing etc. And I notice in many of the examples of interesting urban places you showed us, TREES feature - green canopies under which we can sit, that soften urban surfaces and provide shade and shelter. I think what council is doing is great and I hope you are supported by residents in this project to improve a place in dire need of rejuvenation......thank you! :)

    Lola asked almost 5 years ago

    Thanks for your suggestion Lola.

    To achieve the vision for a vibrant town centre, the Planning Framework identifies many opportunities for greater choice of entertainment, cultural and recreation facilities.
    There is nothing in the plans that would preclude a landowner from deciding to provide a cultural or entertainment facility such as a cinema.

    The draft Streetscape Master Plan outlines the proposed upgrades to footpath and public areas including tree plantings.

    Thanks, Kate




  • How can the Council be independent in making decisions about the height on the car park when they in fact own half of it. Surely this is a huge conflict of interest???????????????

    TM0651 asked almost 5 years ago

    Council owns several properties in Warners Bay and many properties throughout the City. Council regularly makes strategic land use planning decisions that affect property it owns. For this reason, strategic land use planning decisions are made in an open and transparent manner and in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations.
    Strategic land use planning decisions are made at public Council meetings where all Councillors attend to ensure that the principles of fairness and probity are maintained.

    The strategic land use planning stage occurs before the specific development application stage. The strategic land use planning stage sets the guidelines,
    which landowners need to follow when they choose to develop their site. When a development application is made for Council-owned land the decision maker
    (consent authority) for the development applications is a State Government appointed panel.

    Council has previously referred the ‘conflict of interest’ issue to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Division of Local Government who have
    advised that Council is acting in an acceptable way and in accordance with legislation and regulations.

    Council has purchased the land in Warners Bay on behalf of ratepayers. Any gain or return from the use and/or development of the land will benefit ratepayers.

  • With the exception of altered parking on the Esplanade and the development of additional roundabouts I see no indication that streets will be widened to cope with the extra traffic - am I missing something. Your side views of buildings show generous parking allocation but there is no indication of the "depth" of these allocations or how much is public - is this information available and I am missing it?

    M.Martin asked almost 5 years ago

    Thanks for your question. The Traffic and Transport Study undertaken on the town centre did not recommend the need to widen roads based on anticipated increased traffic. The current road widths have the capacity to handle the traffic volumes anticipated because of future development outlined in the planning framework. Several intersections are recommended for upgrades. Some of these intersections are on local roads (Council controlled) and some are on main roads (NSW State Government controlled).

    The sectional views of buildings provide an indicative on-site location of parking required to meet demand generated by a development. The exact size, number and location of car parking areas on individual sites will be determined at the development application stage when a landowner submits a development application to Council. Typically, parking provided on a development site is private parking that may or may not be available to the public.

    The concept for a centrally-located multi-deck car park on the current John Street car park site provides for public car parking for the centre and to provide parking required to meet demand for the redevelopment of land fronting The Esplanade. Thanks, the project team

  • The development plan you refer to your reply to oldie below was clearly unacceptable to the residents at the Warners Bay meeting where it was proposed yet you have chosen to ignore this community feedback - is there any point to community feedback when it is so blatantly ignored?

    M.Martin asked almost 5 years ago

    Thanks for your question.

    Community consultation is a critical part of developing future plans to manage the growth and change of Warners Bay.

    Community feedback is carefully considered by staff and Councillors. Council also needs to consider and balance competing issues such as - higher level strategic policy set by Council and the State Government (Lower Hunter Regional Strategy and Lifestyle 2030 Strategy), population and jobs growth, environmental issues, economic factors and social trends - when preparing plans to manage future growth and change.

  • Could you please advise who is actually administering/receiving these submissions and whether each Councillor receives a copy of all submissions or an abridged version from the planning department/contractor.

    lindawim asked almost 5 years ago


    When the report will be considered by Council, a summary of the submissions will be provided based on the topic/issues raised.

    Council officers encourage Councillors and the general communtiy to review all submissions received using Council's online application tracking program.

    You can access the submissions via Council's website by following the steps below:

    1. Go to www.lakemac.com.au
    2. Select Access Online Services
      (green link on right)
    3. Select Application Tracking
    4. Tick I agree
    5. For Warners Bay, enter application no 7 year 2014
    6. Select Type Rezoning
    7. Click Search
    8. Should come up with The Esplanade Warners Bay
    9. Hit + to list all submissions
    10. Select link for a particular document

    Thanks, Kate