Forster Main Beach

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We are moving forward to finalise the Forster Main Beach Masterplan and now asking you this month to review two approaches which have been developed by consultants, The Design Partnership.

Come along to the Big Plans BBQ !

"We're inviting everyone to come along to Forster Main Beach on Friday 15 June anytime from 11am until 1pm, where we will be holding a Big Plans BBQ to show everyone the approaches and hear some feedback on community preferences for the final Masterplan" says Council's Manager - Community Spaces, Recreation and Trades, Dan Aldridge.

"The Draft approaches will be on display, and you'll have an opportunity to provide us with feedback on what you like, and don’t like, about each approach" adds Dan Aldridge.  "At the same time we hope you'll join us for a sausage sandwich."

If the weather is wet on Friday 15 June, we'll be relocating to have an indoor Big Plans BBQ at the Forster Surf Club from 11am until 1pm.

Enter the Competition

There's also a chance to win a coffee voucher from Beach Bums if you can tell us how you imagine yourself, family and friends enjoying the new look Main Beach precinct. We'll be judging and handing out vouchers after the consultation concludes on 29 June.

Why are we developing a Masterplan?

The Masterplan is being developed for use as a vital tool in attracting funding to upgrade the Forster Main Beach precinct. "The Masterplan is intended to represent a 30 year strategy and will be an important tool to obtain funding, liaise with stakeholders, budget and generally plan for the future of the precinct" says the Design Partnership's Kristy Ryan.

How did we develop the draft approaches?

The project began in July 2017, when over 500 people attended a 'Big Ideas BBQ' consultation at Main Beach, generating many ideas for future planning for the area.  Consultations with Forster SLSC and other special interest groups were also held.

Using this extensive feedback, The Design Partnership worked on concept development and produced a 'framework' which was workshopped by the community last October. From there, Council's internal project team and The Design Partnership have developed the final approaches, which have considered various elements and constraints of the site, including parking and traffic management, planning considerations, environmental factors (including coastal erosion and water sensitive urban design), economic development, open/green space considerations, built form, spatial analysis and community engagement.

"We've also been in regular contact and discussions with the Forster SLSC to understand their needs and incorporate those requirements into the Masterplan design" says Dan Aldridge.

The Beach precinct is one of Forster's most visited tourism sites and is equally important for local people too.  Sporting events are regularly held here including the club events of the Forster Mud Crabs and Forster Turtles. Forster Surf Club is integral to the Main Beach area, providing lifesaving services and beach facilities for all users. Local cafes and restaurants are popular meeting places on the beachfront and attract large numbers of people to this popular spot.

Main Beach and its headlands are beautiful natural features of Forster's coastline and the area has strong cultural significance, with important Aboriginal and interesting post-European settlement sites.

Although Main Beach retains a certain charm (and sparks many treasured holiday memories for people from all over Australia and beyond), it is now looking a little dated and some facilities are struggling to meet modern needs.  In addition, the Surf Club premises and associated Council building has reached the end of its useful life, and needs to be replaced in order to meet the demands of today's users.

The first step towards rejuvenating the Main Beach area is to develop a plan that meets community and visitor needs. With that in mind, we'd like to start by thinking big and hearing everyone's ideas for how we could improve the whole streetscape and provision of facilities which support the many uses of the area.

We're also not forgetting that it's very important that we consider the connectivity and improve access between the Main Beach, nearby open space, adjoining business and shopping areas, and other key locations that make up the Forster central district.

Once we know what our community would like to see at Main Beach, we will develop concept plans to present to the new incoming Council later this year.  These plans will be an essential element for Council to seek funding sources to realise the plan.

  1. Chris Shrewsbury
    The vital consideration of connectivity and improved access between Main Beach and adjoining business and shopping areas that make up the Forster central district, would be best achieved by an aesthetically pleasing covered elevated footbridge passing from the Main Beach precinct to the shopping precinct.