Discussion about Mt Ettalong reserve plan invited

Central Coast Council is asking residents to participate in the development of a masterplan for Mt Ettalong Reserve on the vegetated headland at the southern end of Umina Beach.

The Council-managed reserve is situated on the headland which separates Umina Beach and Pearl Beach and has access off Patonga Dr.
Council director Mr Scott Cox said the aim of the masterplan was to improve the enjoyment of Mt Ettalong’s outstanding natural environment.

He said the masterplan would be an overall vision for the site and would identify future work need so Council can allocate funds and attract grants.
It would be the basis for upgrades to the lookouts with views north across the Peninsula and Brisbane Water, east to Bouddi National Park and south to Lion Island, Barrenjoey lighthouse and Pittwater.

At present, the lookout over Pearl Beach is open to the public.
However, the main lookout on the eastern side of the reserve which overlooks Umina is closed because it is unsafe. Two viewing platforms would remain on the headland and it is proposed to refurbish the viewing platform facing Pearl Beach and build a new viewing platform with views to Umina Beach.

Along the path there also would be opportunities for coastline views and well known landmarks. The pathway would remain mostly in its present location, accommodating a new viewing platform facing Umina Beach.
An environmental and geotechnical assessment of the design would determine the best location.

Design of the path will consider disability access but because of the topography it was unlikely wheelchair access would be achieved across the whole reserve. Safety improvements would include widening of the carpark entry and providing more signposting and more parking spaces.

Council staff were considering options to deter illegal rubbish dumping as well as anti-social behaviour, which might include closing the reserve at night. Toilets were not currently included in the masterplan with the nearest being at the southern end of Umina Beach.

An environmental assessment was completed in December 2019 and investigated the vegetation in the vicinity of the existing walkway, viewing platforms and around the driveway entry and carpark. The assessment can be viewed at Council’s offices.

Beveridge Williams, a land development and infrastructure design consultant, has been engaged to develop the masterplan and associated community consultation to ensure the designs for the reserve reflect what the community wanted to see.

Mr Cox said it was important for residents to become involved in these preliminary discussions.

“We’re inviting the community to participate to create a baseline for the community’s preferences and expectations for the development of the Mt Ettalong Reserve Masterplan,” he said.

“By holding community engagement sessions and inviting people to be part of the discussion from the beginning, we are ensuring that any plans for the area take into consideration the wishes of the community who will ultimately be the users of the space.”

Residents can have their say by completing an online survey and registering their interest in attending a community workshop at yourvoiceourcoast.com

The community workshop to present the results and outline the future direction of the project will be held at Umina Surf Life Saving Club on Thursday, April 2, from 5pm to 7pm.

All responses to the online survey must be received by Monday, March 16.

Media release, 25 Feb 2020
Scott Cox, Central Coast Council

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