Caption: the press announcement in 2021 was made from the back of the site, as seen here.
THE University of Newcastle has started the paperwork for the new uni precinct at Gosford.
It was announced in May 2021, that the old Mitre 10 hardware site at 299-309 Mann St, Gosford.would become a university.
Then in April of this year, it was announced that Newastle Uni was the preferred partner to deliver the Gosford campus.
The then Member for Robertson Lucy Wicks said the design, development, construction and fit-out of the Gosford university campus extension would be funded by an $18M injection from the Federal Government, which was announced in 2019.
Now the University of Newcastle (UoN) has provided the State Government with a detailed description of the subject site and the proposed project, and has asked for an industry specific Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
That means the uni wants to know what information or SEARS it must include in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The EIS provides information on the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the project. It helps the community; government agencies and the approval authority make informed submissions or decisions on the project.
The uni held an initial scoping meeting with key Planning Department staff on Thursday, August 11.
The proposal seeks to establish a health, innovation and education campus for the University of Newcastle within the Gosford CBD at 305 Mann Street.
The proposal is State Significant Development (SSD) with a capital investment value of more than $50 million so a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) will be required to be lodged for approval via the DPE.
The site is owned by the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC).
The University of Newcastle has entered a Development Deed with the HCCDC to redevelop the site for the campus.
The paperwork tells us that the existing building on site is a local heritage item.
Preliminary heritage analysis was prepared in 2010, relating to previous due diligence at the site, the consultant writing the report for the university states.
“The preliminary heritage analysis concludes that while the current building may have some historical interest in representing the efforts
of the local fruit growers (in its former use as the Gosford Cooperative Citrus Packing House that operated on the site from the 1920s to 1989), it has little aesthetic merit due to the level of change that has occurred to the built structures since the late 1980s,” the report states.
“Accordingly, the preliminary heritage assessment concluded that demolition of the building is acceptable in heritage terms, and that the former use of the site can be demonstrated through interpretation.”
More detailed heritage impact assessments will be part of the EIS to determine the significance of the heritage, the appropriateness of demolition, and to formulate an appropriate interpretation strategy, the report states.
See the paperwork here: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/projects/university-newcastle-gosford-campus
As the screenshot below shows, this is just the start of a long process before the campus is built and officially opened.