During the past nine months more than 220 people have contributed to a draft Masterplan for the Cessnock CBD, which will be presented to the first meeting of the newly elected Council in October.
Cessnock City Council engaged multi-disciplinary consultants Arup to encourage the Cessnock community's involvement in the long term strategic planning for the city centre. As well as building owners and tenants, people who use the centre on a daily or intermittent basis were also involved in determining what the CBD should look and feel like into the future.
The draft Masterplan is based on that community consultation as well as a site and background analysis, reviews of existing studies and Council strategies, state planning policies and leading practice.
Several layers, or themes, have been created based on the feedback received during the consultation. The layers: Access and Movement; Public Domain; Urban Form and Aesthetics; and, Economic Opportunities, form a solid framework that sets a clear direction while allowing enough scope to adapt to change over time.
Initiatives and actions identified in the CBD Masterplan layers have been used to form an Implementation Plan which will be a 'live' document allowing for more flexibility. This will mean that the Implementation Plan will be able to evolve over time and will be able to be adjusted in response to change.
The new Councillors will be briefed on the draft Cessnock CBD Masterplan before it is publicly exhibited for community feedback.