Funding has been approved for construction of the planned works. Here is a summary of the project's progress to date:
Stage 2: Public consultation on preliminary design
The draft concept plan was exhibited for 3 months, from 18 January to 18 April 2021.
We will continue to liaise with Central Coast Council regarding safe pedestrian and vehicle access to the picnic area that minimises disruption to park neighbours. The picnic area is designated for day use, and camping is not permitted under the plan of management. Providing drinking water at the site is not feasible as it is not connected to the town water supply; however, rainwater will be captured on-site for use in the toilet amenities. Accessible amenities will be installed when the amenities block is replaced.
Stage 3: Final design and planning approvals
Through this public consultation and consultation with other land managers such as Central Coast Council, utility providers and Crown Lands, National Parks and Wildlife Service has developed a final design of the picnic area upgrade.
Since December 2021, we have been completing the following:
- final design plans, including 60 car parking spaces to reduce traffic impacts on Somersby Falls Road, a new small bus turning circle and set-down area, universal access to a new viewing area over the top falls, new accessible amenities and sustainable rainwater and solar-power systems, covered outdoor learning area and new barbecues and picnic tables
- the construction procurement package for the proposed works
- Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report and section 60 impact permit application submitted to Heritage NSW (now part of the Department of Planning and Environment)
- environmental impact assessment (Review of Environmental Factors).
These planning processes and documents will make recommendations for mitigating actions and conditions on undertaking the works and minimise and manage any impacts on Aboriginal cultural heritage and the environment.
Stage 3 completion
Stage 3 Final design and planning approvals will be completed in early January 2023, including:
- approval of the environmental impact assessment
- completion of section 90 Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit application and approval following in January 2023.
Stage 4: December 2022
Stage 4 Procurement will start in mid-December 2022 with the release of tender for construction works. We will award the tender in late January 2023.
Stage 5: February to June 2023
Stage 5 Construction will start in February 2023 and continue until June 2023.