Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Alienation of Crown Land
1 Ordnance Street Newcastle -Newcastle City Bowling

Application for a Private Commercial  Function Centre with 41 Car spaces;
Hours 7am -midnight, 7 days a week.
Facilities for 500 people.

Once again Newcastle is threatened with inappropriate development.

The former Newcastle Bowling Club is part of King Edward Park and forms part of the Hill Heritage Area. The club existed from the end of the 19th Century, and in 1966 was granted a lease in perpetuity as long as it remained a bowling club. Approval for parking was never given.   It is zoned RE1, which prohibits the building of a function centre.

The area has been allowed to deteriorate, so that the enormous value of this site is obscured. It is a landmark site with magnificent views that anyone who has lived in or visited Newcastle will have appreciated.

The proposed building which claims to be on the original foot print is approximately three times the size of the original building and of a considerably larger volume. Viewed from the south, the two storey structure will present a severe visual intrusion into the park compared to the previous single storey building.  A small kiosk at the S.E. end of the proposed structure is the only part accessible to the public.  The rest of the building will be used for private functions. This is contrary to the principles of Crown land management.

This site should be returned to the Park for the enjoyment of all.

Our convict and colonial heritage is reflected in this site as it was here that the Nation’s first coal shaft was sited in the 1820s. With the old Government House, the James Fletcher site (that housed the Military Barracks and the first Hospital) and the Park, this precinct is important to all Australians.

Consultation with the community found that the community wanted the land returned to the park or at most, minimal development. However, these views were overruled in favour of the commercial alternative.  A Plan of Management was produced by the Lands Department in 2007. It is interesting that the Government’s own Plan of Management still proposed a much smaller development than the current proposal. The Current DA does not relate in any way to the Plan of Management.

Strong community support is essential in combating this proposal. You can help by adding your name and address to the objection letter on the back and by mailing or e-mailing to:

The Hon. Tony Kelly, Minister for Lands, Level 31, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney 2000, or
( )

Please be quick: Also note that the Minister takes more notice of individual letters than they do of form letters. If you have time, write your own letter.
It is important to forward a copy of your letter to:

The Premier of NSW (
The Hon Jodi McKay PO Box 1816 NCLE 2300
The Lord Mayor Cr John Tate, City Hall, Newcastle 2300
The Leader of the Opposition
The Shadow Minister

The Honourable Tony Kelly
Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 34, 1 Farrer Place Sydney 2000

Dear Sir

Re: DA No 10/1735 No 1 Ordnance Street

 I am deeply concerned about the above proposal. In spite of this application being put before the people over the Xmas holiday period and Council’s failure to advertise it on its Web page, hundreds of objections were submitted.

This priceless site is dedicated park land; Crown Land since 1863 and part of the Hill Heritage Area. It is zoned RE1 which prohibits the building of a function centre. When the bowling club failed, and its lease was revoked, the site should have been incorporated into King Edward Park according to the terms of that lease. Any future use should serve the Park and allow the Public unfettered access according to the principles of the Crown Land Act.

We ask that you re-examine the Conclusions of the Plan of Management (2007) which states that the community wanted the land returned to the park, or a development within the scale of the bowling club buildings.

We would like you to investigate why the Annie Street P/L proposal was awarded the tender when, without good reason, it deviates so far from the Expression of Interest.

This function centre holds 500 function guests and is available from 7am to Midnight every day.  Its footprint (understated in the DA) is almost twice the size stipulated in the POM and almost three times the footprint of the old bowling club. It relies on street parking. The Public has access to a small Kiosk on the S.W corner with limited views.

The State Government has a responsibility to the community to ensure that the DA currently before the Council complies with the Plan of Management and that the Plan of Management reflects the views of the community. The consultative process between State, Local Government bodies and Community Groups should be respected. The developer has ignored the constraints imposed by these documents, adding fuel to the fire of public resentment to the perceived and well publicised unsavoury relationship between Government Instruments and developers.

We ask that any lease agreements or MOUs you have with the proponent should be held- over or cancelled so that the matter can be reconsidered. 

Yours Faithfully

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