Following a messy debate around the number of public submissions required before a development application could be referred to a public council meeting, the Central Coast Council reiterated its commitment to creating a vibrant and sustainable Central Coast, with Gosford as the regional capital, and consultation with all stakeholders as a core principle.
Council is currently reviewing its section 94 contribution plans, preparing a consolidated Local Environment Plan for exhibition, including a developer and community forum, and is set to consult on an adjustment of the threshold for referral of a development application to Council to 15 objections, according to Central Coast Mayor Jane Smith.
On December 18, Clr Jeff Sundstrom moved an urgency motion to amend the number of objections for a DA to be referred to a council meeting from 50 to 15.
The 50 substantive objections requirement to get a DA before a Council meeting was adopted by Administrator, Ian Reynolds, although it is still possible for two Councillors to call for a DA to be discussed at a meeting.
Clr Sundstrom’s emergency motion was adopted at the December 18 Council meeting, but never implemented, as a Rescission Motion was lodged by Councillors Greg Best, Jilly Pilon, Troy Marquart, Bruce McLachlan and Rebecca Gale Collins.
As a result, the former Administrator’s policy of 50 substantive objections being needed before a DA can be referred to a Council meeting stands.
The rescission motion was carried at Council’s February 12 meeting, but further debate and an addendum to the alternative motion put forward by the group of Councillors who moved the rescission motion, resulted in a decision to seek public feedback about its consultation policy.
Mayor Smith said Council was committed to facilitating development that will meet the needs of the growing population of the Coast, while maintaining the lifestyle and sense of community that people love about living on the Coast.
“Council’s priority is sustainable development that delivers liveable and vibrant communities, jobs for now and the future, and protection of our environment,” Mayor Smith said.
“We can get there through a shared and collaborative process between the development sector, the State Government, Council and the community.
“There is a need for the development industry to start looking forward and delivering real and sustainable development, particularly in the Gosford CBD, where there are developments that have been approved which are not being built.
“Gosford CBD can and must realise its potential as a true liveable city and the capital of the Central Coast.
“I will be inviting innovative leaders in the development industry with a clear vision for sustainability to join me at a round table to discuss what sustainable development looks like for our region and how we can achieve it.
“Our community must have a say in how development in their local areas is shaped.
“The policy guiding when DAs come to Council will be publicly exhibited and we are willing to listen to the community and the development sector view on this.
“However it is timely to remind developers that the fastest way of getting development moving is to submit proposals that comply with planning rules.
“When everyone knows the rules, then there is an even-playing field, and that is why the consultation on the consolidated LEP and a planning round table are crucial.
“Council is committed to consultation, collaboration and consolidation to ensure our planning controls can create a Central Coast we can all be proud of and that our community want to, and love, living in.”
Meeting notes, Feb 12
Central Coast Council ordinary meeting
Interview, Feb 13
Media release, Feb 13
Jane Smith Central Coast Council
Jackie Pearson, journalist