PLANS for the proposed redevelopment of Morisset golf course have drawn surprisingly few submissions during public exhibition but transport and access issues have been highlighted as primary areas of concern.
The opportunity to formally comment on Winarch Capital's multi-million plan to split the site into precincts for entertainment, hospitality and accommodation uses closed on Monday.
Despite vocal community outcry after Morisset Country Club was told its lease would end, only eight submissions were made across the six development applications lodged with Lake Macquarie City Council late last month for the redevelopment.
Majority of those submissions raised concerns about traffic congestion and access to the site, while others noted potential noise and social impacts of the proposed 30,000-plus capacity concert and events venue.
The most extensive rebuke came from Sunshine Progress Association, a local community group whose submission raised "serious concerns" about the impact of the proposed developments on the "amenity, lifestyle and environment" of the surrounding area.
It criticised the numbers put forward about the modes of transport people would use and parking availability for major events.
It was also highly critical of the traffic management study, suggesting existing afternoon "traffic crawl" on roads approaching the site would become "gridlock" if events were held on weekdays and a possible "27-kilometre queue" of traffic on the M1 as event attendees made their way to the venue.
"While appearing to offer investment and employment opportunities the project also brings overwhelmingly negative consequences related to traffic congestion, noise, lights, drug taking activities and other anti-social behaviours," Sunshine Progress Association president John Quinlan said.
The association also questioned the proposed construction of two roundabouts on Wyee Road for access to the site's caravan park and over-55's villiage, citing a strip of land owned by Crown Lands the roundabouts would need to occupy.
Winarch Captial said the plans had received a "very positive" informal response and it was "confident" the "methods put forward" to cater for major events would "succeed with specialised planning and management tailored to each event and associated demographic".
"Most events will be of a temporary nature and outside peak congestion times," it said. "Events will utilise traffic control to minimise delays and to maintain a high level of safety for all stakeholders. The traffic congestion concerns will be addressed with the relevant consent authorities during the determination process."
When the Newcastle Herald revealed Winarch Capital's proposal for the site last month, dubbed Cedar Mill, Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser, state MP Greg Piper and Southlake Business Chamber president Jo Hanlon expressed enthusiasm about the plans.
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