Reconfiguring the Crescent Head foreshore and carpark to increase public open space, widen footpaths and install new picnic areas and a new skatepark along with revitalising the town centre, will now be part of the future vision for Crescent Head.
Kempsey Shire Council moved a recommendation that will see designs from the Crescent Head Public Domain Plan go ahead after discussing the motion at length during Tuesday's council meeting.
Some sections of the plan, including the upgrades to the CBD, Muddy Arm Park, Rankine Street and Little Nobby have been adopted by council with refinements recognising community feedback.
In principle support was given for Option A of the foreshore carpark design proposals and the Killick Creek play and path areas, allowing for further design changes in the future.
Council placed the draft design plans for the Crescent Head foreshore and village centre on public exhibition for a period of 42 days earlier in the year.
The plans included:
- A defined pedestrian zone on Little Nobby
- Changes to the foreshore car park arrangements with three proposed options
- A continuous, separated pathway along the foreshore
- Safer pathways in the village centre
- Re-orienting the War Memorial Monument to face into Lloyd Park
During the exhibition period council received three petitions, 354 completed online surveys via Your Say Macleay, 568 proforma submissions and 24 independent submissions.
Councillor Mark Baxter spoke for the recommendation at the meeting and said the plans address a number of problems at Crescent Head.
"The plans for the CBD will allow the community to capitalise on tourists which are the lifeblood of the community," he said.
"This addresses a backlog of problems at Crescent Head."
The original motion put to councillors recommended deferring any decisions on the foreshore carpark, which Cr Baxter agreed with.
"I have been speaking with people at Crescent Head for years and they agree it would be better to defer the decision on the foreshore carpark," he said.
Councillor Dean Saul added the amendment to adopt the plans for the foreshore carpark space in principal.
"If we adopt it now, we can still refine the plans in the future," he said.
"The community has already seen the plans and given feedback. If we defer this decision it could take a long time and we need to get on with it."
Councillor Sue McGinn agreed and said council needs to move along with the plans while taking on the community feedback.
"There has been significant consultation with the community over these plans," she said.
"We are getting this plan to move along if we adopt it now and revise the plans for the foreshore carpaprk at a later date."
Kempsey Shire Mayor, Liz Campbell, reflected that the Public Domain Plans are an action from the Crescent Head Area Master Plan and it is a major milestone to have reached a resolution on the concept designs.
"The councillors are really grateful for the significant community involvement in this project. It is never realistic to expect that engagement, especially on a project that impacts an iconic foreshore, will reach a consensus," Cr Campbell said.
"This level of engagement has provided an opportunity to understand all the different perspectives in the community and review the critical issues prior to making a decision."
I am confident that the plans adopted will enhance the area's natural beauty, achieve a reasonable balance between parking and greenspace and accommodate the growing needs of the Crescent Head community.Mayor Liz Campbell
Council's Director Operations and Planning, Robert Fish, clarified that this in principle support will now allow staff to work with the consultants to further refine the designs and consider minor adjustments resulting from the feedback received.
"There are a number of specific challenges to work through such as the exact numbers of formalised parking spaces that can fit in the plan and the best options for the interface of the Holiday Park and Killick Creek area," Mr Fish said.
"This resolution gives us a directive on the preference and allows us to keep moving with developing more detailed plans that can be further discussed with stakeholders.
"It's important to highlight that with the exception of the Rankine Street section this work is largely unfunded, especially anything on the foreshore or carpark, so nothing changes in the immediate term. Adopting the design concepts does allow us to be more prepared to apply for relevant grant funding opportunities and progressively develop the detailed designs."
Mayor Campbell said the plans will improve the overall township of Crescent Head.
"I am confident that the plans adopted will enhance the area's natural beauty, achieve a reasonable balance between parking and greenspace and accommodate the growing needs of the Crescent Head community well into the future," she said.
Locals can view the full plans on council's website.