IMPROVED: Grace Edwards, 5, with brother Harper, 3, check out the new cabins; the Stockton ferry terminal, below. Picture by Jonathan CarrollNEW tourist cabins to be unveiled today at Stockton Beach Tourist Park are set to be the first in a host of overhauls planned for the town’s waterfront.
The $2.3million project involved building 11 cabins at the park’s northern end.
The accommodation will be available for holiday hire from Friday, and bookings have already been taken for the busy Christmas and new year period.
Newcastle City Council commercial enterprise services manager Daniel Ballantyne said the cabins were built in response to demand.
‘‘There’s a shortage of quality tourism accommodation in Newcastle,’’ he said.
Revenue raised at Stockton would be invested into coastal revitalisation. Stage two of the development, comprising 15 cabins, is to come in 2012.
Extensions to the park are also envisaged in a new planning document that will go before the council tomorrow.
The draft South Stockton Reserves Public Domain Plan suggests extending the park east around the nearby public swimming pool.
This area could accommodate up to 25 cabins, with the potential to raise $1.2million a year, which would be invested in to the coastline.
The public domain plan proposes a cafe, community centre and library in Griffith Park, near the ferry terminal.
A playground and viewing platform, angled towards Newcastle’s Queens Wharf tower and Christ Church Cathedral, were other possible additions.
Timed parking is suggested in part of the ferry terminal car park, with all-day parking catered for around the perimeter.
The draft plan also suggests improvements to the Ballast Ground boat ramp, paths aligned with Bathers Way around all the reserves and tree planting.
Councillors will decide tomorrow whether to put the plan on public exhibition.
It forms part of a broader coastal revitalisation planning process for the Newcastle waterfront between Stockton and Merewether.
The draft South Stockton Reserves Public Domain Plan
Pitt Street Reserve
■Stockton Beach Tourist Park expansion
■Remove and replace skate park, pending tourist park expansion
■Widen entry to northern breakwater
■Restrict vehicle access on the edge of the Pitt Street Reserve
■Shared pathway extension, north of King Street and adjacent to tourist park to connect to surf club and beyond
■Seating and tree planting
■Remove informal car park and return to open space
■Cafe, community centre and library near ferry terminal
■Playground with cycle track, climbing structure, sand pit, swings, barbecue and picnic area
■Viewing platform angled towards Newcastle
(Including Stockton boat ramp)
■remove amenities block near Clyde Street
General (all reserves)
■Align paths with Bathers Way
■Markers highlighting historic sites and points of interest