AT the recent Port Stephens Council meeting, Councillors were requested to endorse the draft Fern Bay and North Stockton Strategy to be placed on Public Exhibition for a 28 day period.
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The draft strategy was prepared by Council staff in consultation with Newcastle City Council to discuss and resolve traffic and transport, potential town centre sites and planning to support tourism in the area.
The strategy shows the potential for a town centre and shopping precinct in the North Stockton area, however there have been suggestions that this would be better served in the Fern Bay area.
Sally Johnston, Chairperson of the Fern Bay Fullerton Cover Progress Association, told News Of The Area, “There is a strong desire from the Fern Bay and Fullerton Cove community for a local supermarket and associated shops.
The Land Use Strategy looked at a number of potential locations, and appears to have given the green light for the commercially zoned land at the front of the Seaside development to be rezoned back to residential.
Whilst the Stockton Centre site received the highest rating in the Strategy, there are so many unknowns with this site that there is no guarantee that, even if it was sold, that the eventual buyer would want to install a shopping centre.
Given the volumes of traffic travelling along Nelson Bay Road, the expansion of the airport precinct and the continued growth of Fern Bay and Fullerton Cove’s population, there should be sufficient demand, even if we were to see two shopping centre precincts in the long term. “
Councillor Giacomo Arnott told News Of The Area, “The strategy adopted by Council provides for one town centre at a State Government owned facility, and we have no idea if or when the State will vacate it or if it will be available to Council if and when that happen, with this in mind an alternate site must be considered and included in the strategy.”
Locals are encouraged to make submissions on the strategy during the exhibition period.
By Julie McKimm