The University of Newcastle, Australia

Community responds positively to Honeysuckle move

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Last week, the Honeysuckle City Campus Development (HCCD) Project team and consulting partners, Ethos Urban, met with staff and community to discuss the University’s Master Plan and first stage for the Honeysuckle City Campus Development Project. Stage 1A will include the Hunter Innovation Project’s Innovation Hub, a joint initiative with Newcastle City Council, Newcastle NOW and Hunter DIGIT, partially funded by NSW Government, plus additional new facilities for the University’s School of Creative Industries.

Staff at Honeysuckle consultation

More than 150 people took the opportunity to drop into one of the six sessions for staff, students and community at Callaghan, Ourimbah, NeW Space and City Hall.

The Honeysuckle City Campus Development project has been deemed a State Significant Development and therefore requires NSW Government planning approval in for it to proceed with the staged developments across the full Master Plan. The sessions were an early opportunity to understand this planning process and concept plans for the site.

“The response from our key stakeholders was very positive both in terms of the concept and the opportunity to engage from an early stage,” NeW Futures Capital Projects Director in IFS, Damian Burke said.

“People are genuinely excited about the ongoing revitalisation of our city and the potential the University has to play a key role over the long term,” Damian said.

“Community concerns centred on transport and parking, which was to be expected given the current focus in the city,” he said.

Other community concerns included the loss of views for existing residents, overshadowing and privacy. Some staff expressed concern about the movement between campuses.

Following this first round of engagement, UON will now finalise its application for a State Significant Development (SSD) where further opportunities for engagement will be provided through the public exhibition period. Subject to this approval being granted, there will be further engagement built into the Development Application and design process for each of the staged developments.

“There was, and will continue to be, a lot of interest in the design of the first building, which is still some way down the track, but we look forward to going back to the community with more information when we get to that point,” Damian said.

“That said, the feedback from the community gave me a strong sense that the successes of NeW Space have given the community confidence that we have the city’s interest, as well as the interests of our students and staff, at heart,” he said.

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