GOSFORD City Centre will become a significant district which will greatly improve the city's commercial, retail and cultural life, according to recommendations announced by Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts.
"The first recommendations for the complete revitalisation of the centre of what is the capital city of the Central Coast, is focussed on its beating heart – Kibble Park and surrounds," Mr Roberts said.
The Minister said the bold and exciting plan for Gosford is articulated in the first of a series of Government Architect recommendations for the revitalisation of the city's centre, released for public exhibition in Gosford last week.
Mr Roberts also announced the appointment of Michael Cassel as CEO of the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation (CCRDC), which has been repurposed to support delivery of Gosford City Centre's renewal.
"As the civic heart of Gosford City Centre, it is entirely appropriate that our first focus is on Kibble Park," Mr Roberts said.
"Enhancing Kibble Park and its surrounds is critical to improving the city's connectivity and drawing people back into a desirable, attractive and functional city centre."
Two further reports will be released in coming weeks to focus on complementing the corridor between Gosford Hospital to the train station in the north and the Waterfront precinct in the south.
Mr Roberts also released a background paper describing the considerable work undertaken on the Urban Design and Implementation Framework (UDIF) and providing historical context regarding the planning initiatives that have shaped Gosford City Centre.
"I am confident that the efforts and plans of the NSW Government will enhance Gosford, making it a most desirable place to live, work and visit," Mr Roberts said.
The NSW Government Architect, Peter Poulet, said: "It is crucial that the first stage of the project to revitalise Gosford City Centre concentrates on the very heart of the region's capital.
"Our focus is to enhance Kibble Park to create a significant area for people to gather and celebrate – a centre that is both a green space and a place of civic and commercial activity in the heart of the city."
While the Department of Planning and Environment is coordinating the delivery of the UDIF to revitalise Gosford City Centre, the CCRDC has been tasked by the NSW Government to identify development opportunities to drive economic growth in the region.
In addition to taking the reins of the CCRDC, Mr Cassel will continue in his current role as CEO of Hunter Development Corporation.
"I look forward to working with Coordinator General for the Central Coast Lee Shearer, Central Coast Council and many other stakeholders to help bring the bold vision for the region and its capital to life," Mr Cassel said.
The Department of Planning and Environment has undertaken intensive community engagement with about 600 residents, 83 per cent of whom said that the revitalisation of Gosford City Centre was 'important' or 'very important'.
Ninety per cent said that the revamp of Gosford, as the region's capital, was vital to the broader development of the Central Coast.
More information is available from the Department of Planning and Environment website at <http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-your-area/Regional-Plans/Central-Coast>.