Lake Macquarie council will "ramp up" work on plans for a future central precinct in Belmont after adding another property to a collection of 24 it owns in the area. The council endorsed the purchase of a residential property on Maude Street for $485,000 at Monday's standing committee meetings. The acquisition adds another parcel of land to the 24 properties the council owns in the block bordered by Maude, Edgar and Herbert streets, where it has been acquiring properties since the 1980s as part of a plan to consolidate and develop the business centre-zoned land. The council endorsed the purchase of an Edgar Street property in June for $820,000. A map in the staff report tabled for Monday's meeting suggests it needs to acquire three properties to redevelop the block west of, and including, the Herbert Street car park, but property manager David Antcliff said the council planned to acquire another five properties and was "actively pursuing" them. East ward councillor John Gilbert questioned why the council was not pursuing a further four or five properties on Maude Street to develop the "entire site" Mr Antcliff said the council was "not necessarily looking" at those properties but was "eager to ensure the overall site is a consistent shape". He said staff had started planning "how the broader site might look into the future" and this work would "ramp up" now the council was at the "pointy end" of acquiring the required number of properties. Another acquisition will be proposed in the new year, Mr Antcliff said.