MidCoast Council will continue to seek fast-tracking of the planning proposal to rezone stage two of the Northern Gateway Transport Hub at Cundletown.
This was confirmed in a report issued to councillors at the July 8 strategic meeting.
Council will also continue to work with Transport for NSW to finalise the $15 million State government funding agreement and undertake initial infrastructure improvements.
The funds will be used for works such as a roundabout at the intersection of Princes Street and the proposed Cundletown Bypass.
In response to COVID-19, the NSW government announced a fast-tracking program for the assessment process for major projects in order to sustain employment and the economy.
Criteria was set for projects to be considered such as the ability to create jobs during and construction and post completion and be able to proceed to a development application in six months.
MidCoast Council lodged an application to speed up the assessment of the stage two planning proposal but was unsuccessful.
However, the application was retained and will be consider in future.
In this financial year, the roundabout will be built, a detailed design for the bypass road will be finalised and a preliminary design for the Pacific Highway on/off ramps will be undertaken.
Stage one of the project is owned by Jim Pearson Transport. The site in question was already rezoned and has development consent.
The start of construction work is up to the transport company, according to the report.
It's expected this will begin once the initial infrastructure works are completed.
In November 2018, the company's Roy Cottrell told the Times they were ready to go with construction so this statement would prove correct.
It's a different story for the landowners of stage two. They will be responsible for securing private investment for the project, seeking development consent and subsequent works.
The report stated this stage is a privately-run development involving four land owners, including MidCoast Council.
Stage two has been the subject of requests for additional information from state agencies, with council working to resolve issues.
These include the potential impacts on the Pacific Highway interchange and environmental concerns.
Once the issues are resolved, a planning proposal can be made available for community consultation.
As the completed transport hub will cover a large space and open up significant employment opportunities, MidCoast Council holds the project in high importance.
It's the only project labeled very high priority action in the MidCoast Regional Economic Development Strategy and is highlighted in the MidCoast section of the Hunter Regional Plan 2036.
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