Before Lake Macquarie City Council begins work revitalising West Wallsend, it wants community help to develop a master plan that focuses on the town’s historic characteristics.
The council is calling for public feedback through its Shape Lake Mac website to develop ideas of what needs to be protected and what can be enhanced and there will be a one-hour community workshop at Holmesville Community Hall from 5.30pm on November 7.
In a statement on Thursday, council called West Wallsend one of Lake Macquarie’s most historically significant suburbs and pointed to its past as a booming town with a population of 6000 and four operational mines at its peak in the early 1900s.
The master plan will look at streetscape, pedestrian access, mobility issues and focus on the area around Carrington and Withers streets. It will deal with council land and public spaces – not privately-owned property.
Integrated planning manager Wes Hain said the plan would aim to reinforce West Wallsend’s historic character and revitalise the suburb’s retail and commercial precinct.
“We want to make sure any revitalisation of West Wallsend is sympathetic to its important and fascinating history,” he said.
“West Wallsend’s significant historical value is already recognised by its inclusion as a heritage conservation area in our Local Environment Plan, but a master plan will provide a blueprint for us to follow over the next 10-15 years.
“Recent residential and commercial development around West Wallsend have the potential to affect the viability and long-term conservation of the old commercial precinct. But there is a great opportunity here to capitalise on West Wallsend’s rich history and use it to attract investment and business, and to create a vibrant, contemporary retail and commercial precinct.”
Historian Ed Tonks said West Wallsend was a prime example of how mining drove the Hunter’s early expansion, experiencing significant growth in a 15-year period that sparked the introduction of a steam tram system to Newcastle.
Some of the responses posted on the Shape Lake Mac website as of Thursday afternoon pointed to the cemetery, post office, pubs and butterfly cave as being among the historic parts of the suburb considered important.
In news today October 25, 2018:
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