Two massive industrial estates at the end of the M1 have run into a road block.
The Stevens Group's plans for an $88 million, 200-lot subdivision at Black Hill were rejected in the Land and Environment Court in July.
And the Hunter Central Coast Regional Planning Panel announced this week that it had refused a larger estate next door on land owned by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Together, the sites are classified as an economic "catalyst area" in the NSW government's Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036.
The knock-backs are due mainly to disputes with Roads and Maritime Services over how the estates will interact with nearby roads.
Coal and Allied gained concept approval for the eastern site from the Planning and Assessment Commission in 2013 before selling it to the Stevens Group.
Stevens took Newcastle council to court this year over its deemed refusal of the project, but LEC commissioner Tim Horton found the developer had not provided enough detail on how the estate would affect John Renshaw Drive and the M1.
"The site, when fully developed, will impose 1500 vehicles per hour on a classified road, within close proximity to a declared Motorway, and a declared Controlled Access Road that, together, form part of the National Land Transport Network and the State road network," Mr Horton concluded. "As such, it is essential that the likely environmental impacts of the development ... are clearly understood. They are not."
He also found the developer had not adequately addressed how off-site road upgrades would affect the natural environment.
The Catholic diocese has entered into an agreement to sell its land, which is in Cessnock council area, to Broaden Management when the company gains development approval for the site.
The HCCRPP rejected the $77 million project, noting RMS continued to "raise issues with the proposal to an extent that would require fundamental changes".
It also found the extent of proposed cut-and-fill earthworks was excessive and the estate would offer insufficient screening from the "rural landscape setting", a key concern of nearby residents.
The Newcastle Herald understands both proponents are in ongoing negotiations with RMS and the council over the issues raised by the court and the planning panel.
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