IT'S Newcastle station – but not as you know it.
The state government will on Friday announce plans for the future of Newcastle station, vowing the heritage-listed building won't be left to “sit and rot”, paving the way for a program of repairs that is hoped to have the dormant station buzzing with life.
In a development application to be lodged with Newcastle City Council, the state government will propose filling in the station’s platforms, removing unoriginal brickwork and reopening the area to Scott Street.
Revitalising Newcastle’s Michael Cassel said “we are going to breathe new life” into “this valuable and much-loved city asset”.
The government does not want a repeat of the dilapidated former Newcastle post office.
“We want to ensure this valuable and much-loved city asset does not sit unused any longer. The last thing anyone wants is to see this beautiful building sit and rot,” Mr Cassel said. “We are going to breathe new life into the station precinct to ensure the community can enjoy these historic buildings for years to come.”
The Newcastle station proposal comes after last year’s consultation with the community.
In a series of events, the government was told by the community it wanted the station reopened for new use as a recreation area.
The development application to be lodged with the council will prepare the station for that end goal.
As well as filling in the platform and removing unoriginal brickwork, stage one also involves restoration and maintenance of the building.
It will be rust and bird-proofed, with damaged windows, doors and renders to be fixed.
Upon completion, the former station will have three separate buildings – as it was originally.
Mr Cassel said the works would allow the area to be used by the public in the short term, with permanent uses for the precinct to be decided through an expressions of interest process next year.
Depending on council approval, is hoped the area could be opened to the public later this year.
The government said the restoration works should not be affected by the rezoning of corridor land – which is still to be decided.
According to a state government report on future uses for the station, the community proposed a piazza, an outdoor cinema, an art precinct and eateries. A majority of respondents rejected the use of the station as accommodation.
Meanwhile, the future of Civic station is still an unknown, with a community survey showing respondents were split on whether it should be demolished or reused.