PUBLIC input into how the Metford brickworks site should be used may hit the backburner after the state government announced plans for Maitland’s second hospital on the land midway through a call for ideas.
The land, which is still under lease to CSR, is due for remediation in between two and five years when it will revert to Crown ownership.
But a canvas of Hunter residents that began last month is under a cloud following the state government’s Friday announcement.
Early results from the public polling showed using the land as a reserve or installing cycleways had emerged as popular choices.
Project manager Kris Leck said the consultation was in doubt.
‘‘The organisation is seeking advice and guidance about the status of further consultation following the government’s announcement,’’ Mr Leck said on Sunday.
The 40-hectare site includes intact bushland and a deep body of water as well as areas deemed suitable for light industrial land.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Friday that NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner had picked the brickworks land from more than 35 potential sites.
Ms Skinner cited strong growth in Maitland as a reason for the brickworks’ selection.
She also highlighted the ability to bring in specialists who visited the nearby Maitland Private Hospital and the adjacent train line as important factors.
‘‘It was a very rigorous process,’’ Ms Skinner said.
‘‘The site is not flood-prone, it’s not prone to subsidence. It ticks every box.’’
Further detail including bed numbers will be developed at the next stage, Ms Skinner said.
Kris Leck at the site of the old Metford Brickworks. Picture Peter Stoop