In 2008, the Gosford Challenge was a partnership between Gosford City Council and the community that articulated the need and desire for Gosford to be recognised as the regional city of the Central Coast.
It resulted in the production of the ‘Our City, Our Destiny Masterplan’ which established the objectives that would guide the revitalisation of Gosford.
The Challenge was about planning for a growing city for decades to come.
Deliver an active mixed-use precinct that will connect Gosford City Centre to the Brisbane Water foreshore.
Provide a catalyst for the wider revitalisation and economic growth of Gosford city centre.
Promote a vibrant centre that will provide long term employment opportunities.
Promote the Waterfront and Gosford city centre as a destination.
Incorporate community and social infrastructure including a regional performing arts centre, regional park and public wharf facilities that take advantage of and activate the public realm and the Gosford foreshore.
Provide new residential development that will contribute to the State Government’s regional housing targets for the Central Coast.
Promote a range of amenities and services that will attract people of all ages to visit, live and work in the Waterfront and Gosford city centre.
Respect and celebrate the heritage values of the site.
In February 2014, the Gosford Waterfront precinct was rezoned as a State Significant Site (SSS). The State Significant Study that informed the rezoning was subject to extensive public exhibition through the SSS process.
The site is bound by Georgina Terrace, Dane Drive, Mann Street and Brisbane Water and includes the Gosford Public School site, Gosford City Park and the Gosford Breakwater.
The development of the Regional Performing Arts Centre proposes to retain and facilitate the enhancement of the War Memorial Park, ensuring the space is not affected.
The proposed building has been located on the lower land and wraps around the steep escarpment that falls down from War Memorial Park. The War Memorial Park is extended to provide an upper entry and forecourt to the building. The existing memorials in the park are retained.
The concept design has also considered key view lines from the park to mitigate the impact of the building on the outlook from War Memorial Park.
The rezoning provides for the expansion of the Gosford breakwater for the purpose of providing improved public access, opportunities for ferry services, visitor accommodation, restaurants and retail facilities.
Gosford City Council and the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of a continued strong partnership and the combining of resources focused on the revitalisation of Gosford.
At the launch of the ‘Our City, Our Destiny Masterplan’ in August 2010, the responsibility for implementation was officially passed to the Corporation.
The Central Coast Regional Development Corporation has taken a lead agency role in preparing the site for redevelopment including the rezoning of the site.
The Central Coast Regional Development Corporation is the NSW Government agency that managed the demolition of the former school site.
The Corporation has been working in collaboration with Government Property NSW (GPNSW) and the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) in preparing tender documentation for the sale and redevelopment of the former Gosford Public School site.
The site contains the former School of Arts building which is locally listed under the Gosford LEP 2014. The demolition works did not impact on the heritage listed item.
The former Police Sergeant's House footings are items of potential heritage significance and have been retained.
The remains of the former Police Stable, which has been identified as an item of potential heritage significance, may still survive. The timber classroom at the rear of the Former School of Arts Building has been manually demolished without the use of heavy equipment, excavating or disturbing the underlying ground.
The State Significant Site rezoning was approved by the Department of Planning in February 2014. The zoning changes allow a mix of residential, commercial, retail and recreation/entertainment uses and has the potential to deliver approximately 200 new residential dwellings and over 2000 new jobs in the foreseeable future.
Gosford Public School relocated to a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility in Faunce Street in April 2014.
CCRDC facilitated dialogue with all levels of Government to pursue the best path forward for The Iguana Wharf which reopened on 14 September 2014.
The rezoning provides for the new Regional Performing Arts Centre within the planned Gosford Cultural Precinct.
In May 2013 and in parallel with the SSS process, the Corporation undertook a design competition for the Regional Performing Arts Centre and Conservatorium in Gosford.
Several architects submitted concepts in response to the design competition. The concepts were assessed by the Corporation with the support of technical consultants examining planning and architectural design, costs, functionality and operations. The assessment also included workshops with key stakeholders including Gosford City Council, Friends of Performing Arts, Gosford Music Society, Conservatorium of Music and Mr Richard Waterhouse (Emeritus Professor of History University of Sydney and Gosford City Council’s nominated Heritage Committee representative).
The evaluation process identified the concept design by Peralum Pedavoli Architects as the preferred concept, having the best vision in terms of innovation, energy efficiency, architecture and planning.
In August 2013, the preferred concept was considered by Gosford City Council and Council resolved to endorse the concept and utilise the concept to seek funding for the project from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.
A target budget of $30 million for the Regional Performing Arts Centre and $6 million for the Conservatorium has been set.
As the ultimate operator of the building, Gosford City Council is taking the lead to secure the funding required for this project and then will have responsibility for preparing development applications, detailed designs and implementing the works.
The development application for the refined (or redefined) Regional Performing Arts Centre design and the environmental assessment will be placed on public exhibition. The community will continue to have the opportunity to comment and provide input on the proposals.
The community can continue to have a say in the redevelopment of the waterfront area.
All future development on the former Gosford Public School site will be on public exhibition and available for community comment as development applications are lodged with Gosford City Council.
Future stages will include having matters such as building location, shape and form, as well as expected parking provisions on public exhibition and available for community comment as development applications are lodged with Gosford City Council.