Draft Gosford City DCP lacks the essential three C’s of planning

We wish to object to the Draft Gosford City Centre Development Control Plan (DCP) 2018 in its current form.
Although we reside in Terrigal, for more than 20 years, we have both owned property in Gosford in the John Whiteway Precinct, on the city fringe.
We are current objectors to the Pinnacle Construction over-development for 299 units (DA 54602/2018), part of which is proposed to be built on previously designated non-buildable land.
Unlike the statement made by, Andrew Woodhouse, President of the Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage and Residents’ Society, in relation to revised planning controls for The Bourbon and Empire Hotels: “We agree with all these ideas.
“They reflect the three C’s of good planning: clarity, certainty, and consistency;” we do not agree that this proposed Draft DCP reflects the three C’s.
As recently happened in Terrigal, the parking study is missing.
Such a study should be undertaken and implemented prior to any changes in zoning or planning criteria.
It is noted that a minimum 3.1m floor height will be required for at, or above, ground level car parking, so that the space can be adapted to another use in the future.
There appears however to be a lack of certainty for sufficient parking availability for present needs until the take up of driverless cars in some 10 years’ time.
The provision and location of car parking requirements for selected developments, example being, Key Site No.1, has been amended to allow for off-site parking.
Does this provide consistency?
It is proposed to remove the current developers’ contribution of 4 per cent of the value of the development, which would have enabled the Central Coast Council (CCC) to construct critical infrastructure, and to substitute a Special Infrastructure Contribution of 3 per cent.
Of this 3 per cent, the State Government will take 2 per cent, leaving only 1 per cent for the CCC.
As we understand it, NSW council levies are set to jump 2.7 per cent next financial year, but councils have warned that the increase would not be sufficient for them to address backlogs in local infrastructure.
How can reducing the development contribution by 1 per cent of the value of the proposed building provide certainty to the CCC and the community that infrastructure levels can be improved or even maintained?
The DCP has no limit on the number of storeys in some locations.
Buildings could be 30 or more storeys in height.
This ignores the unpublished 2017/18 AEC ‘Gosford City Centre Economic Study: floor space incentive contributions rate economic feasibility study’, that predicted buildings in excess of 10 storeys as actually not feasible in Gosford.
Since the Report was written, we understand that banks have further tightened their lending requirements for property developers.
How will this provide clarity, certainty or consistency?
The draft document contains the statement: “Ensure excellent solar access and amenity to Kibble Park,” yet changing the current DCP controls from unlimited sunlight to only 50 per cent, implies a neglect and mismanagement of public space.
Enabling the Leagues Club Park to maintain 70 per cent solar access, identifies Kibble Park as inferior.
Kibble Park, as the heart of the Civic Centre, should not be compromised by overshadowing.
Does this represent consistency?
Classifying development between $10m to $75m to be assessed by the Department of Planning and determined by the Minister or Independent Planning Commission is taking planning controls away from the democratically elected local Central Coast Council.
Council is in the best place to make local planning decisions, not the State Government bureaucrats, who do not live here and have no apparent appreciation for what their policies mean on the ground.
Terrigal’s poor planning dates back to the 1800’s when the Bank of NSW resumed the land from a bankrupt Mr Davies and bureaucrats in Sydney drew lines on a map of the area.
Could history repeat itself?
What assurances of clarity, certainty or consistency do the community, the developer or the CCC and the Councillors have?
The past 10 years have seen many plans developed for the Centre of Gosford, by Council staff, in consultation with the community, and by consultants such as, Chris Johnson, and by, John McInerney AO.
What a waste of money, effort and talent, resulting in general despair and disillusionment all round.
We look forward to the Minister for Planning’s reply and his acknowledgement and reassurance that this Draft DCP Plan will be amended to reflect the essential three C’s of planning: clarity, certainty and consistency.

Email, Sep 17
Ted and Sue Edwards, Terrigal

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