Richmondvale Railway Trail another step closer

The Richmondvale Rail Trail has reached another milestone with Cessnock Council giving its tick of approval to the next step in the project.

The project is a 32 kilometre cycleway along the old Richmondvale railway line from Kurri Kurri to Hexham travelling through the Cessnock, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie council areas.

Cessnock councillors unanimously endorsed a review of the environmental factors for a western section of the trail at this week’s meeting that stretches from Stockrington to Kurri Kurri.

Council received 124 community submissions on this part of the approval process – 121 supported the project and three were against it.

The review of the environmental factors is an alternative approval pathway to submitting a development application so in endorsing the feedback it means 27.5 kilometres of the project was approved.

Key features in the Cessnock and Lake Macquarie include construction of over 17km of shared pathway between three to four metres wide; restoration and repair of three existing railway tunnels including one in Cessnock; construction of a bridge at Surveyors Creek and Wallis Creek and demolition of the existing timber bridges; construction of a new short bridge at Werekata Creek; and construction of four new parking facilities at various access points along the proposal route (three of the parking facilities are within the Cessnock LGA).

The Newcastle section of the project was approved by the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel in 2021 with the exception of a section at Tarro and another at the Hunter Wetlands Centre which have separate approvals.

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