Lake Macquarie City Council has released plans for its proposed multi-arts space in Speers Point Park but the designs appear to have failed to resonate with the community after drawing a barrage of criticism online.
The council announced it had lodged a development application for the $2.1 million project on Wednesday.
The development is being part-funded by a $1.35 million grant from the NSW government received last May.
The council said it had worked with the University of Newcastle to adapt concept plans produced by an architecture student who won a competition to design the space late last year.
"Designed as a platform for creatives, this impressive structure will become a regional destination for outdoor performances such as theatre productions, concerts and opera," mayor Kay Fraser said.
The council's manager arts, culture and tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said the multi-arts space would become a must-visit destination for arts and music lovers.
"This contemporary, technologically sophisticated and flexible creative space in such a popular and attractive location will be an ideal stepping-stone for emerging and renowned artists," she said.
However, when the council shared the plans on social media, the project copped a string of critical comments about the location and appearance of the building.
"Love the idea, but thumbs down on the location," Nikki Abercrombie said. "This space already works well, especially now the wide footpath is in place. Plenty of other options lakeside for this type of venue."
Simone McNamara had a similar opinion, asking why the building would block an existing walkway.
"Can you please explain why this building is being built right in the middle of the footpath? Was a great thoroughfare for the community riding bikes, running," she said. "Festivals and farmers markets will no longer have easy access from both ends of Speers Point Park."
Marilyn Parsons said the proposal might not be "making the best use of a magnificent site". "Prime position and they are going to put something that looks like a public toilet block," she said.
Deanne Vowels added: "Just wondering does the public have any say on this development? I'm guessing most would be opposed."
A council spokesperson said submissions about the development could be made via email or in writing.
About a dozen submissions opposing the project had been uploaded to the council's DA tracker website by Thursday afternoon.
"The community can provide a submission in regards to any development application by emailing email@example.com or writing to council at Box 1906 Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310," they said.