A $5 MILLION plan for a new gateway at Birubi beach has won approval.
The Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel has given the Gan Gan Road plan the green light in a unanimous decision.
Their approval notes that "submissions acknowledged positive aspects of the proposal and issues were raised about buffers/screening to the coach parking area, number of toilets, the proposed buildings, definition of the use, coastal zone considerations, acid sulfate soils management, environmental consideration, Aboriginal cultural heritage impacts, traffic and parking and bushfire".
"The panel considers that concerns raised by the community have been adequately addressed," the decision states.
The approval allows the project to shift into the detailed design phase, with construction expected to begin late next year.
Port Stephens Council trialled traffic and parking restrictions at Birubi head last year to handle the school holiday rushes.
Mayor Ryan Palmer said the development could help ensure Worimi Conservation Lands served its large influx of visitors and assured they appreciated the area's uniqueness.
"We know that during the holidays, the numbers of visitors to this beautiful part of the world increases dramatically," he said.
"This causes traffic chaos and puts increased pressure on the environment, Aboriginal heritage and cultural values of this area.
"While Port Stephens Council is working on short-term solutions, the Birubi Information Centre is going to be a game-changer for the residents of Anna Bay and the thousands of people who visit each year."
Community and recreation co-ordinator Brock Lamont said the design included 50 car spaces, 10 coach parks and provisions for cyclists and pedestrians.
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