A survey has confirmed that a supermarket is at the top of the wish list for Fern Bay.
Port Stephens and Newcastle councils surveyed Fern Bay and North Stockton residents to shape a new land use strategy.
Port council’s strategic planning coordinator Jeffrey Bretag said the initial consultation period has been vital for informing the draft strategy.
"We received hundreds of responses, which gave us a great indication of the vision the residents of Fern Bay and North Stockton have for their community as it continues to grow," he said.
"It's pretty clear that commercial development is seen as by far the most important priority for Fern Bay and North Stockton, followed by recreation facilities and pathways for pedestrians and bikes.”
Mr Bretag said work was well underway on the draft Fern Bay and North Stockton land use strategy, with the aim of having the final report to Council by mid-2018.
"Residents also said the key priorities for open spaces are accessible amenities and sheltered picnic facilities, while the thing they loved most about living in Fern Bay and North Stockton was the proximity to the water and to Newcastle,” he said.
"It was also great to hear some of the community's ideas for the area, which include improved beach access, an open air concert and movie space, 72 hour camping ground and even light rail from the airport to the Stockton ferry terminal.
"Our staff are currently hard at work collating feedback from the initial consultation period and we hope the community’s ideas shine through in the proposed strategy for Fern Bay and North Stockton.”
Mr Bretag said the draft strategy would be placed on public exhibition in 2018 to “make sure we’ve hit the mark”.