Newcastle City Council says a children's bike track and outdoor gym equipment are the community’s preferred options for the post-Supercars restoration of Camp Shortland at Nobbys.
Supercars said in August last year that it planned to returf the section of track that bisects the coastal park, but the council said on Monday that about two-thirds of 334 survey respondents did not want it returfed.
It said 149 people had voted for a children's bike track, 147 for an outdoor gym, 125 for a children's play area and 118 for planter boxes, seating and shade.
The park was dry and sandy last weekend, six weeks after the race, and the track was still blocked by concrete barriers, one of which was covered in beer advertising. A wide expanse of unused bitumen greeted visitors to Horseshoe Beach.
Temporary plastic bollards were still in place at the Nobbys and Watt Street roundabouts and at the entrance to Horseshoe Beach Road.
The Newcastle Herald reported last week that the council would start replacing trees in the park in March.
Camp Shortland is in the Coal River Precinct, listed on the State Heritage Register and regulated by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The council said on Monday that grassing over the track section in the park was preferred by 38 per cent of survey respondents, but this option would “deny access to the park each summer as newly laid turf knitted and grew”.
“We will now follow due process to activate this long-dormant space by submitting a proposal to the Office of Environment and Heritage for assessment before finalising a project plan that incorporates all the elements to some extent,” the council’s chief executive officer, Jeremy Bath, said in a statement.
“Heritage interpretation elements through signage will be a key component of the project to relate stories from the history of the Coal River precinct.”
Equipment installed in the park would be removable for Supercars and other events.
Some Newcastle East residents have been critical of the loss of trees and grass due to the Supercars track, but the council insisted the foreshore had been “significantly improved as a result of the Newcastle 500”.
It said the improvements included better roads, 84 more parking spaces, a dedicated bus drop-off area on Nobbys Road and removing a bottleneck between Bathers Way and Joy Cummings Promenade.