More than 3800 people have signed a petition in less than six weeks in a bid to save Fernhill as a proposed Port Macquarie road link creates uncertainty.
Fernhill residents have offered to work with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to find a less destructive solution than the proposed flood-free airport access road corridor under investigation, which runs through their neighbourhood.
The airport link is part of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's wider orbital road investigation corridor.
The orbital road is proposed as an east-west link (Ocean Drive to Oxley Highway), a north-south link (Oxley Highway to Boundary Street) and a flood-free route to the Port Macquarie Airport.
Community consultation continues about the orbital road proposal with a final route yet to be determined.
The Save Fernhill petition aims to create awareness about what is at stake in the Fernhill area and encourages the council to find a cost-effective design with less impacts than the current proposal.
Save Fernhill Community Action Group spokesperson Grant Mitchell tabled the petition at the council's March 20 meeting in Wauchope.
"The overwhelming response from those who signed the petition was in short, disbelief that a road with such significant impact could be proposed through the Fernhill area," he said.
Mr Mitchell said people agreed there must be a less destructive way.
The council provided detailed information to residents at a recent meeting about the proposed airport road, while Fernhill residents showed the area to council staff and mayor Peta Pinson.
Mr Mitchell said given they now understood the Fernhill section of the proposed new airport road was predominantly an engineering solution, Fernhill residents believed by working with the council, the real "most viable route" would become apparent.
Cr Pinson thanked Mr Mitchell and the Save Fernhill Community Action Group for the way they had conducted themselves.
"I'm most heartened and impressed by the way you have come together as a community within a community to respectfully address this," she said.
Disability service provider ACES is also located within the proposed flood-free airport access road investigation corridor.
ACES chief executive officer Kathy Wonderly said they were faced with uncertainty.
"We are in absolute limbo," she said.
ACES, which has 110 clients and 60 staff, has been based at Fernhill Road for a decade.
Historic Alban House in the Fernhill area is another property under question given the proposed flood-free airport access road investigation corridor.
March 30 is the deadline for submissions about the proposed orbital road.
All submissions will be collated into an engagement report which will be presented to the council in June for a decision.
What else is making news?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.