A little bit of context
In 2016 Channel Nine applied to have the site of their Newcastle TV station rezoned "medium density residential". This was no ordinary medium density rezoning - it was a spot rezoning on steroids.
The site is next to Crown land Reserve Arcadia Park; a place that is currently a peaceful haven, which transports everyone who visits there to a littoral rainforest that seems a million miles from the city. This beautiful restored refuge now teams with wildlife rarely seen in urban places. Arcadia Park has been carefully restored by a dedicated group of Landcare volunteers, who have worked very hard on the regeneration project for the past 7 years.
It is also right across the road from Australia's oldest operating school, and a stone's throw from Newcastle's heritage icons, the Obelisk, King Edward Park, and the Reservoir.
But there’s a problem
The site's new owner has submitted a Development Application that signifcantly threatens the character of the neighbourhood, and especially the tranquility and ecological viability of Arcadia Park.
At nine storeys high, the proposed towers are two storeys more than the LEP is supposed to allow, and three storeys more than the maximum originally recommended by Council when the rezoning was considered.
More than 180 individuals and groups submitted objections to Council about the proposed development. But they don't want to listen!
Here’s what we’re doing about it
The community's opportunity to participate in the planning process was blocked when Council and the Developer agreed to a conciliation conference to finalise the Development Application.
The Friends of King Edward Park, applied to Land and Environment Court to particpate in the Conference but they were were denied the right to join. The Friends fought back with evidence-based legal argument and have won the right to be heard in court.
The community is now raising money for legal representatives and expert witnesses, who will build the case against gross over devlopment of a site that cries out for good ecologically sustainable development, which complements the neighbourhood and its irreplaceable Arcadia Park.
This will be a huge struggle for transparency and good planning and we need your help!
You can join us
We are raising $40,000 for legal costs including the costs of expert witnesses in heritage, planning, subsidence, and ecology.
And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without
Come for a walk in beautiful Arcadia Park, you might be lucky enough to see the Powerful Owl! You can join the Friends of King Edward Park at http://www.friendsofkingedwardpark.org.au/
Check in to www.OpenNewcastle.org for updates and - as we get closer to Christmas - for beautiful Arcadia Park prints, totes and tea towels!
And thank you for your donation!