Newcastle Basketball has had to tweak its plans for the proposed 10-court complex in Lake Macquarie because Hillsborough Road can not safely accommodate additional vehicle movements in the afternoon peak.
The plans, lodged last June, had proposed vehicle access to the facility via an existing left-in only turn from the Newcastle Inner City Bypass southbound on-ramp off Hillsborough Road.
Vehicles would exit at this location as well, but only in a southern direction. A secondary exit onto Waratah Avenue via a driveway within Hillsborough Public School was also proposed.
But a report which modelled the facility's traffic impact highlighted "significant capacity constraints" on Hillsborough Road in afternoon peak hours, particularly at the bow-tie roundabout where it meets the bypass exit and entry ramps.
In advice provided in response to the DA, Transport for NSW said it preferred no vehicular access via the bypass on-ramp and requested all traffic enter and exit the facility via Waratah Avenue.
Resident submissions lodged during the DA's exhibition had raised concerns about increased traffic on Hillsborough Road and vehicle movements through the adjacent public school.
A petition carrying 48 signatures was even submitted calling for the council to conduct additional community consultation.
But in revised plans now with the council, Newcastle Basketball's planners have proposed a new access road off Waratah Avenue to the south of the school near Brett Street.
It would be the main access point, offer all turning movements and help distribute traffic across the road network.
As part of the proposal, a left-turn lane into Waratah Avenue on Hillsborough Road would be extended by 200 metres.
No major changes have been made to the overall layout or stadium design.
Newcastle Basketball's planners had been pushing to have the regional planning panel assess the DA before Christmas, but the access and other minor issues delayed that timeframe.
The revised plans will now have to be reassessed by the relevant agencies before the council can recommend the facility for approval.
Newcastle Basketball general manager Neil Goffet said when the DA was lodged that the facility was "urgently required" as the existing stadium no longer accommodated all of the association's activities. He was hopeful it would be open by late 2021.
The NSW government pledged $25 million to the facility ahead of the 2019 election and allocated $13.4 million in the 2019/20 budget to get the project underway.