Wider footpaths for outdoor dining, new landscaping and a traffic closure to help activate two long-dormant laneways are among additional plans approved for streets surrounding Hunter Street Mall.
The additions to the East End Stage One Streetscape plan were unanimously greenlighted by Council after extensive stakeholder engagement and design development over the past 12 months.
The works include new landscaping at the old Mall bus stop at the junction of Hunter and Scott Street and an overhaul for the stretch of footpath between Perkins and Brown streets.
Keightley Street will be closed to through traffic to prioritise pedestrians ahead of a Melbourne laneway-style development currently subject to DA determination, which if approved will see laneway activations either side of Hunter Street under the 2018 streetscape plan.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the expanded plan dovetailed with Iris Capital’s transformation of the David Jones building into a 5 star hotel and an exciting retail and hospitality proposal between Hunter and Keightley streets.
“The East End Stage One Streetscape Plan will guide the renewal of the public domain amid exciting private development that’s set to bring the area back to life,” Councillor Nelmes said.
“The scope of the original plan has been extended to include work between Perkins Street and Brown Street, taking in the redundant Hunter Street Mall bus stop. This area wasn’t included in the Light Rail project and needs rejuvenating together with Perkins, Newcomen, King and Scott streets.
“Plans for Market Street and Keightley Street will help transform them into a Melbourne laneway-style precinct, while the connections from Market Street Lawn will be improved for both pedestrians and cars thanks to two pedestrian crossings either side of a broadened Market Street driveway, which will make it easier to access the post office.”
A range of other new treatments to make the area west of the Old David Jones building safer and more attractive include:
Modifications to the intersection of Scott and Hunter, allowing increased pedestrian refuge to the western and southern sides of Hunter for landscaping and alfresco dining
Realignment of the intersection of Hunter, Scott and Brown streets with a raised pedestrian crossing at the latter
A separated bi-directional cycleway on the northern side of Hunter Street
Relocation of the King Street bus stop from west of Perkins Street to just east
A separated single direction cycleway on either side of Perkins Street
Provision for two separated cycleways on Perkins Street will ease access from King after a cyclist died in a collision with a truck turning into Perkins early last year.
The Hunter Street Newcastle East End Stage One Streetscape Plan was approved in June 2018 to complement the Mall’s overhaul by private investors.
The plan features new stone surfacing in and around the Mall, improved cycling access and better footway connections between Market Street Lawn and Christ Church Cathedral.