THE PROPOSED six-storey development plan for Warners Bay will be a test for new Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison, say residents.
The development, for retail, offices, a Woolworths supermarket and new car parking are planned on the site - the town's main car park in John Street.
The council owns 170 car parking spaces while Auscoal owns 100 of the car parking spaces on the site.
Warners Bay residents John Farrington and Graham Steel, along with many others, oppose the plan.
Mr Farrington said the development was "the wrong plan" for the lakeside suburb.
"We want the small businesses here to survive and the village atmosphere [to be] maintained," Mr Farrington said.
Mr Steel said he had sought information about the project from the council, but received "bureaucratic hogwash".
He said the plan would be a "significant test of the new mayor and council".
Development controls that allow six storeys on the site are expected to be completed by March or April, but no development application has been lodged.
The joint venture is expected to be among the most controversial in Lake Macquarie this year.