STATE-owned development authority UrbanGrowth NSW has drawn up a plan for the city centre's renewal and use of the soon to be vacant rail corridor land to go to a Cabinet committee, while asking for the community's views on the issues.
Documents tabled to NSW Parliament show the "urban renewal concept plan" is to be submitted to Cabinet's infrastructure committee to "define preferred uses for rail corridor lands and adjacent government-owned land".
An UrbanGrowth briefing note to Planning Minister Pru Goward in August said the plan was to go to the Cabinet committee in October.
But an UrbanGrowth spokesman said on Friday the plan was yet to be presented to the government.
The briefing note was prepared in response to a letter in July to the minister from then Newcastle MP Tim Owen, urging Ms Goward to consent to the Hunter Development Corporation entering into negotiations with Newcastle City Council to sell its land at 16, 16A and 16B Honeysuckle Drive for the "initial purpose of car parking".
But UrbanGrowth advised such a sale should not go ahead until the plan for the rail corridor and other government land was completed, with ground level car parking "unlikely to be the highest and best use of the land in the long term".
Other UrbanGrowth documents refer to a "smart hub" among ideas considered for its city centre project.
The Newcastle Herald reported last week sources have said UrbanGrowth is urging the government to back development on at least part of the rail corridor. The government has not backed Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper's bill to prevent major development on the rail corridor after the heavy rail is truncated.
UrbanGrowth, which holds a two-thirds stake in the East End redevelopment proposal with the GPT Group, was put in charge of the government's overall revitalisation project early this year.
The heavy rail is due to be closed for truncation on Boxing Day, but the government has yet to say what it will do with vacant rail land when light rail is installed along only part of the existing corridor.
Public consultation sessions were held mid-year, seeking feedback through a process dubbed "Design Newcastle".
The government was forced, by an order of the Legislative Council, to table documents relating to the East End project and rail line truncation.
Among them are an email from an adviser to Ms Goward to Christian Democrat upper house MP Paul Green, whose party helped instigate for the current parliamentary inquiry into planning decisions in the Hunter.
"The main consideration for use of the rail corridor is what will best activate the area," the adviser wrote.
The community supports the "development or restoration of public buildings and public spaces", supports "temporary or permanent structures in the rail corridor to activate the space and create connectivity between the city and the waterfront", and "accepts the truncation of the heavy rail line, and 54 per cent would use light rail", the adviser wrote.
In relation to possible conflicts of interest, Ms Goward's adviser said "UrbanGrowth NSW and GPT have at all times followed due process in their dealings with the Department of Planning."