Central Coast Council developed a Masterplan for the Mount Ettalong Reserve as part of its commitment to making the reserve more inclusive, functional and safe for the community.
Beveridge Williams, a land development and infrastructure design consultant, was engaged to develop the Masterplan and associated community consultation to ensure the designs for the reserve reflect what the community want to see.
From 24 February to 16 March 2020 Council and Beveridge Williams undertook round one of community consultation for the project. Round one engagement involved a community survey to understand current use of the Reserve, purpose for visiting and aspirations for the future vision of the Reserve.
The round one consultation provided valuable insights into the interests, needs and desires of the Central Coast community. The survey highlighted the importance of keeping the Reserve as natural as possible with any required enhancements done in consideration of keeping a natural outlook and feel.
The results from round one engagement were analysed to formulate an overall community design brief and Concept Design.
Throughout the phase one consultation the community told us what they wanted to see in the Masterplan for Mount Ettalong Reserve. Council and Beveridge Williams used this feedback to ensure that the draft concept designs for the masterplan reflected the values and preferences of our community.
Council then called upon the community to let us know if we got it right. Between 21 May and 4 June 2020 the community was invited to view the Concept Plans for Mount Ettalong Reserve Masterplan and provide feedback via feedback form or on the interactive map (now closed).
The results from community consultation are available in the consultation report and were used to inform the development of a Draft Masterplan for the Mount Ettalong Reserve.
The draft Mount Ettalong Masterplan was adopted at the 27 July 2021 Council meeting. The Masterplan and initial implementation of proposed renewals will be delivered using $180,000 dedicated Developer Contribution funds, identified for the upgrade of the Mount Ettalong reserve. The adopted Masterplan will support the development of external grant funding applications for the site.
Reserve upgrade works will be carried out in accordance with the Masterplan when funds become available and as capacity allows within Council’s capital works program.
Where is the Mount Ettalong Reserve located?
he Mount Ettalong Reserve is located on the headland between Pearl Beach and Umina Beach and is accessed off Patonga Drive Pearl Beach.
View the masterplan location for Mount Ettalong Reserve below.
What is a Masterplan?
A master plan is a plan that provides overall guidance for the development of the land. It takes into consideration the surrounding area, specifically social settings, buildings and surrounding environments.
Why is a Masterplan required for the Mount Ettalong Reserve?
Mount Ettalong is a Central Coast Council managed reserve that is located at Patonga Dr Pearl Beach. The site is a naturally vegetated headland in Broken Bay that lies between Umina Beach and Pearl Beach. The reserve has views north across the Woy Woy peninsula and Brisbane Water, east to Bouddi National Park and south to Lion Island, Barrenjoey lighthouse and Pittwater.
The project has been identified through local community interest and further community consultation will be undertaken to commence the project.
The development of a Masterplan for the reserve will provide an overall vision for the site and will identify the future work needed, so that Council can allocate funds and attract grants to cater for all of the users of the reserve.
Much of the infrastructure has reached its’ use by date and requires renewal, refurbishment and upgrading. How many people currently use Mount Ettalong Reserve?
Council does not monitor the usage of the reserve. However, the wear of the informal track, carpark and evidence of use such as rubbish indicates significant current informal use.
The larger of the two viewing platforms which overlooks Umina Beach has been closed for some time as it is unsafe, will the viewing platform be included in the Ettalong Reserve Masterplan?
The viewing platform which overlooks Umina has reached the end of its functional life and may not be suitable for restoration in the same location. The viewing platform may be relocated nearby to a more stable location. The view will be the same as that which is currently enjoyed from the existing platform.
How many viewing platforms will there be?
There is one proposed viewing platform that will provide a unique experience of the clifftop environment. Along the pathway there will also be opportunities to gain views of the coastline including well known landmarks, the seascape and surrounding inland areas.
The ‘Captain Cook’ lookout already exists immediately to the south of the car park but does not have current all ability access.
A smaller accessible lookout that provides a less grand experience is also present immediately adjacent the existing car park. The pathway to the proposed new lookout will provide an opportunity to experience the cliff top environment across the community.
How will Council address vehicular access to Mount Ettalong Reserve?
The entry to the carpark will be widened to improve the sight distance when exiting.
Additional sign posting can be provided on the road advising motorists where the entry to Mount Ettalong Reserve is located.
How will Council address pedestrian access to Mount Ettalong Reserve?
If identified through community consultation Council will investigate the options for pedestrian access.
Will additional parking at Mount Ettalong Reserve be provided given the projected increase in usage?
The existing carpark at the reserve provides about 6 car spaces. At peak times the carpark is often full. Council will investigate the options for improving parking capacity within the constraints of the site. This may include better utilization of existing informal parking elsewhere in the vicinity of the car park.
How will Council address illegal dumping at Mount Ettalong Reserve?
Council are considering available options to deter illegal dumping of rubbish through various measures which include CCTV, additional signage highlighting the penalties of illegal dumping, advertising the available household rubbish collection services, advertising the impacts of illegal dumping on the environment. These items will be addressed throughout the consultation process and will be included as recommendations within the masterplan.
How will Council address anti-social behavior at Mount Ettalong Reserve?
Council are considering available options to deter anti-social behavior through various measures which include closing the reserve at night by placing a gate across the main accessways, CCTV, signage and lighting and options identified through community consultation.
Will rubbish bins be included in the masterplan design?
The reserve currently contains some rubbish bins. If identified through community consultation, additional rubbish bins will be considered in the design.
Will toilets be included the masterplan design?
Toilets are not currently included in the concept design for the Mount Ettalong Reserve Masterplan. The nearest public toilets are available at the southern end of Umina Beach and the southern end of Pearl Beach.
Will there be a theme for the design of the masterplan?
If identified through community consultation, various themes will be considered in the design. The community will have opportunity to comment on the final design options before they are presented to Council.
Will the current pathway alignment remain?
The pathway will remain mostly in its current location. If needed, there may be some slight re-alignment to accommodate the masterplan features or any identified items. There may be an alternate location for the viewing platform facing Umina Beach which will require some re-alignment of the existing path. The environmental and geotechnical assessment undertaken for the design will help inform the best location for the viewing platform and alignment of the pathway for access.
Will the pathway be designed and constructed to meet accessibility standards?
The design will consider disability standards however due to the topography of Mount Ettalong Reserve it is unlikely that wheelchair access will be achieved across the entirety of the site.
What are the expected community benefits of the Mount Ettalong Reserve Masterplan?
There are several community benefits of improving the Mount Ettalong Reserve which include:
- Improved access within the headland environment.
- Opportunities for the community experience, enjoy and understand the natural environment available at Mount Ettalong Reserve.
- Views up and down the Central Coast coastline.
Have items of cultural significance (i.e. Aboriginal sites) that may exist in the area been considered?
An Environmental Assessment has been undertaken which included an investigation for potential items of Aboriginal heritage. The search found that there are no Aboriginal sites or places listed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 in or near the reserve.
There is one heritage item listed in the Gosford Local Environmental Plan 2014 that occurs at the site, but it is not in the vicinity of the Masterplan area.
If adopted, how long will the implementation of the Masterplan take?
The timing will be influenced by the final design of the project adopted by Council and the associated construction implications. Following community consultation, Council approval of the final design and funding, a delivery date can be determined.
How is the Mount Ettalong Masterplan being funded?
Central Coast Council has provided funding through its’ Capital Works program for the masterplan stage of the project. Further funding will be required for construction.
Will environmental assessments be carried out to design the masterplan? Where can I view these?
An Environmental Assessment was completed in December 2019. This report investigated the vegetation in the vicinity of the existing walkway and viewing platforms. An assessment of the vegetation around the driveway entry and carpark was also included.
This report can be viewed at either Central Coast Council offices 8:30 - 5pm, Monday to Friday. The report cannot be accessed online due to copyright restrictions. Please contact Brent Evans on 4304 4319 to arrange a viewing time.
How was community feedback used in the development of the Masterplan?
All comments, ideas and suggestions were collated and used to inform the development of strategies, programs, activities and designs, or to gain an insight into community views and opinions.
All feedback provided during the consultation periods for this project was considered as part of the project development process, however this does not mean that every suggestion was taken on board and adopted as proposed.