Lorn Riverbank

Enhancing public amenity

Strategic planning to conserve the cultural value of Matiland's Lorn Riverbank while improving public access for recreation and leisure

Lorn Riverbank Masterplan
Maitland City Council
Local government
Community consultation and public participation in design process, master planning and development of plan of management

Mara was engaged by Maitland City Council to develop a Plan of Management and Masterplan for the Lorn Riverbank.  The site covers over 9 hectares and is opposite the iconic Levee, part of the Maitland CBD.

The site includes a levee, which protects nearby residents and businesses from flooding from the Hunter River. As a result, safe access to the site, for pedestrians and vehicles, was a key consideration.

The challenge was to understand the physical constraints, designing a space to meet a range of stakeholder aspirations as well as incorporating design elements that can withstand flood events.

The final materplan was divided into zones that allow a range of organised and informal recreational opportunities, as well as new safe access points for non-motorised boating activities. The site also includes an off-leash dog park, open spaces, an amphitheater with informal seating and stage, amenities, picnic areas, a children's play space as well as a large central plaza, big enough for community markets and other events.

Feedback from stakeholders

Through a series of workshops and intensive consultation, community members and stakeholders provided feedback on how they would like to use the riverbank now and into the future.

That feedback was incorporated into the development of the masterplan to meet Council’s objective to improve recreational opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

Understanding the site constraints

Underpinning the masterplan were a series of specialist studies to guide the project. These included:

  • Flood levels and currents
  • Traffic study
  • Preliminary costings to construct.

These studies, along with extensive site analysis and research helped to inform the design of the riverbank.

Participants at a Lorn Riverbank stakeholder workshop
Image: Participants at the Lorn Riverbank design workshop