Revitalising Newcastle 

The amenity of Newcastle City Centre has sky-rocketed with the removal of heavy rail infrastructure.

Gone is the visual pollution of overhead wires, the noise pollution of heavy rail carriages, and the ever-present danger of multiple level crossings.

The city is already a safer, more peaceful, and better-connected place for all.

The next phase of Revitalising Newcastle involves a planning proposal for future land use in the former heavy rail corridor. The Property Council of Australia has had an Industry Taskforce examining the proposal in detail and will be making a submission to Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government.

In broad terms, the Industry Taskforce considers it to be an excellent proposal that adopts each of the guiding planning principles from MAXIMUM OPPORTUNITY – our 2015 Revitalising Newcastle submission to the Premier of NSW.

It followed over 10 years of unequivocal and unwavering industry policy to preserve most of the corridor for public use, and that large scale or high-rise development along the corridor’s length was simply not feasible, nor desirable.

That remains industry policy.

It also remains industry policy that these “Game Changers” from MAXIMUM OPPORTUNITY should be embedded in the final plan;

  • Realign Wharf Road with Scott Street at Queens Wharf to establish a new city edge.
  • Adaptively repurpose Newcastle Railway Station as an iconic landmark building providing globally competitive tourism infrastructure.
  • Establish Darby Common as a place of relief and meeting for the cycling community, with a visual and physical connection to the harbour.
  • Create diverse and vibrant public spaces that welcome people to engage with the city in an authentically Novocastrian way.

Specifically, in relation to the planning proposal currently on exhibition, the Taskforce will make the following recommendations for improvement;

  1. New LEP provisions that actively support innovative design solutions for the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.
  2. Ensure development in the Civic East section (east of Merewether Street) maintains active transport links and service vehicle access for surrounding properties.
  3. Revisit the design of Darby Park to maximise useable public space.
  4. Increased density controls for the section between Darby Street and Brown Street to encourage investment.
  5. Further industry consultation on the latest master planning for Newcastle City Centre, including each distinct precinct.


Individuals opposed to change are always the most vocal, whereas those in support are inclined to be quieter.

This reality presents a risk to Newcastle’s current economic trajectory – one that recently saw the value of urban renewal projects top $2.5 billion.

It makes this a crucial moment in time for Revitalising Newcastle, when the silent majority needs to speak-up.

The most effective way you can now help the cause of progress is to let our elected representatives know your support for the rail corridor planning proposal.

Just a few moments of your time, and a few clicks of your mouse, will guarantee your voice is heard before the October 23 deadline.

To make your submission;

Step One - Click here for the submission page of Newcastle City Council’s website.

Step Two - Provide your name and email address.

Step Three - Cut-and-paste into the feedback box; “I support the Property Council of Australia’s submission on the rail corridor and adjacent land rezoning, Development Control Plan and Planning Agreement.”

Step Four – Press “Submit”

It’s as simple as that!

Please consider making your submission right now.

In a few short minutes, you can make a real difference toward maintaining Newcastle’s positive momentum.

Please also feel free to share this Advocacy Alert among your network of colleagues, clients, family and friends.

The more people within our community prepared to show their support, the more compelling the case for the NSW Government to continue investing in Revitalising Newcastle.

Andrew Fletcher
Hunter Director

Mobile: 0407 410 017
Email: [email protected]