Terrigal Lagoon Trail

Terrigal Lagoon Trail

Project update

Following discussions between Council and the funding body (Restart NSW) on the feasibility of the Terrigal Lagoon Walking Trail, it has been mutually decided the project will not proceed at this time.

Council would like to thank the community for their input throughout the development of this project. Whilst Council will not be proceeding with this project at this time, the development application has been approved and the project is considered ‘shovel ready’. 

The community can: 

Council will continue to keep the community updated on the status of the Terrigal Lagoon Trail. 

Project overview 

Council received funding to develop a walking trail around Terrigal Lagoon, within parts of Terrigal Wetland Reserve and Rotary Park (next to Parklife Café and the Marine Discovery Centre).

This trail was anticipated to provide multiple social, health and wellbeing benefits, as well as educational, nature-based tourism and job opportunities.

This proposed project was to be jointly funded by Council and the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Fund.

Community consultation

Round 1 community engagement

Between 10 June and 7 July, the community were invited to complete a survey on the different features that could potentially be a part of Terrigal Lagoon trail. During this time, we received 235 responses from the community.

The community can: 

Round 2 community engagement 

Between 9 November and 7 December 2020 the community were invited to view the concept plans which were developed following the round one consultation (June 2020) and provide feedback. Council received 52 responses from the community. 

The community can: 

Development application submissions

Council lodged a development application for Terrigal Lagoon Trail and the community were encouraged to provide feedback through the formal submission process. Submissions on the proposal were accepted between 30 July and 6 September 2021. 

Due to the community interest, the development application was referred to the Central Coast Local Planning Panel for consideration and it was subsequently approved 6 December 2021.  

The community can find the development application and related documents via the DA Tracker  by searching ‘DA/62171/2021’. 



Who's listening

Who's listening
Nick Tarasenko - Coastal Management Officer, Catchments to Coast

Project update FAQS

Why is Council not proceeding with the Terrigal Lagoon Trail? 

Concept designs for the project were developed following two rounds of community consultation, however, as the project design and assessments progressed, environmental constraints (biodiversity credit requirements, hydrology requiring boardwalk design through a large section of Coastal Wetland) became apparent.  The identified environmental constraints and the associated increase in cost meant the $1 million funding agreement (50/50 split with Council) with Restart NSW was not sufficient. The estimated new cost of the approved design is approximately $3.7 million. With no additional funding currently available for the project, as well as other infrastructure priorities Council needs to advance for the region, Council felt the financially responsible decision was to discontinue the project at this time.

If the Terrigal Lagoon Trail is not proceeding, does this mean Council’s financial input to date is wasted? 

No. Council’s financial input to date has ensured that the project is shovel-ready, with completed detailed design, environmental assessments and development approval, so should opportunities present to include the project in future capital works programs, and obtain additional funding to proceed, Council could do so in the future.  

Why didn’t Council use the Restart NSW funding for another project? 

The state government funding was provided for this project under a specific funding arrangement through Restart NSW. Unfortunately the limitations with grant funding mean that Council is unable to assign the money to different projects or infrastructure. 

Project development FAQs

Why are you building a walking trail around Terrigal Lagoon?

Back in 2017, the Marine Discovery Centre approached Central Coast Council to seek support and funding for a walking trail, boardwalk and Waterwatch platform at Terrigal Lagoon.

Council supported the establishment of the walking trail and obtained a funding agreement through Restart NSW for the provision of a trail around the lagoon with $500,000 grant funding and an additional $500,000 from Council funds. 

The exact features of the walking trail will be determined by community sentiment, an Environmental impact statement and budget allocations. 

Where is the trail going to be located? Is the trail going around the whole lagoon?

The general trail location will be on the southern arm of the lagoon, loosely bounded by Terrigal Drive to the south, Brunswick Road to the west, Florida Road to the north and Willoughby Road in the east.

The exact location of the trail will be determined through the recommendations of the environmental impact statement and the feedback we receive from the community through future consultation on the concept design plan.  

Are you putting it close to houses?

The trail is not likely to be located too close to houses, however, the exact location of the trail will be determined through the recommendations of the environmental impact statement and the feedback we receive from the community through future consultation on the concept design plan. 

Will you have to clear bushland and trees to put in the trail?

Given that the trail is proposed to be partially located within a coastal wetland, Council is working hard to ensure that the trail will weave through disturbed areas wherever possible to avoid the need to clear bushland – including trees. 

The environmental impact statement has provided recommendations to help Council determine the most appropriate route for the trail in order to minimise environmental impacts.

Have you considered including part of the trail through the lagoon (i.e. a boardwalk)?

The environmental impact statement (EIS) explores different options for the trail. 

We have used the feedback we received from the community in the first round of consultation, and the EIS to develop the draft concept design plan. 

If the environmental impacts can be appropriately mitigated – a boardwalk may form part of the final concept design.  

Are you planning to have any viewing platforms so I can see the lagoon from parts of the walking trail?

Council is exploring a number of concepts and options for the trail including viewing platforms, however, budget, the environmental impact statement and community sentiment will guide what is and isn’t possible.  

Will additional carparking be provided?

Not at this stage, however carparking may be investigated as part of future planning.

How are you going to address anti-social activity and rubbish being left by people using the trail?

Council will be exploring a number of options to help address anti-social activity and waste management by trail users. Waste receptables and educational signage are some of the measures being considered. 

What is the construction period and how will the works impact the community?

It is expected that construction of the trail will occur towards the end of 2021 after the finalisation of the concept design plan.

How much is it going to cost and how are you going to fund it?

There is a total of $1 million currently available for the project under a funding agreement through Restart NSW. $500,000 has been provided through grant funding and an additional $500,000 has been provided from Council funds. 

Can the state government funding be spent elsewhere?

No. The state government funding has been provided for this project under a specific funding arrangement through Restart NSW.

Will dogs be allowed on the walking trail?

Given the sensitivity of the coastal wetland, dogs will not be permitted on the walking trail.

Will cycling be allowed on the walking trail?

This proposal is not likely to result in a shared pathway and as such, will not be designed to allow cycling.

Has an environmental assessment been undertaken? What are the impacts on the coastal wetland? What about Aboriginal heritage?

Council has recently engaged a suitably qualified consultancy to undertake an environmental impact statement for the project. This included an assessment of the impact of this proposal on the environment including the coastal wetland, surrounding bushland and Aboriginal heritage. The outcomes of this environmental statement will determine the most appropriate location for the trail and the mitigation measures required to ensure the impacts on the environment and Aboriginal heritage are minimised.

What is the trail going to be built out of?

The construction materials for the trail will be influenced by feedback from the community and the recommendations of the environmental impact statement, however natural and recycled materials are likely to be the main focus of the concept design. 

Is the trail going to have an impact on flooding in the lagoon catchment?

Council has a comprehensive floodplain risk management plan that has been fed into the draft concept design plan to ensure the trail does not have a negative impact on the lagoon catchment or increase flooding risk.

Will this project provide jobs for the local community?

Yes – Council will be utilising local companies (or regional companies when local expertise in not available) to undertake all aspects of the project from the initial investigations through to design and construct.

Council has lodged a Development Application for the project, does this mean that if and when consent is provided, Council will be proceeding with construction in accordance with the plans as shown in the Development Application?

Council needs to seek consent for the proposal as part of the DA process.

Whilst the DA is being considered, Council staff are further evaluating the viability of multiple aspects of the project, including the project scope and deliverables against the available budget.  Although works will not be inconsistent with approved plans, it may be that delivery of all aspects of the project in accordance with these plans may be constrained and certain project stages may be prioritised for delivery over others. 

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