Gosford city’s revitalisation took another major step forward on Wednesday, October 10, with the release of the final Government Architect report.
NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, said he had signed off on the Gosford City State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and Development Control Plan (DCP), which would be gazetted on Friday, October 19.
Minister Roberts did not announce any new NSW Government funding for the city’s revitalisation, apart from the $52m already pledged for upgrades of water and sewer infrastructure and public domain.
He said the baton for the future of the CBD now passed from Coordinator General, Lee Shearer, to, Michael Cassel, CEO of a newly combined Hunter Central Coast Regional Development Corporation.
He said that following more than a year of consultation, the NSW Government had listened to the community’s comments and ideas and incorporated them in a final series of measures.
“People had different views on how it should be achieved, but the message was loud and clear on one thing, revitalisation of Gosford needs to happen and it needs to happen now,” Roberts said.
“Today we are putting in place the framework to drive further investment, attract new residents, business, tourists, cultural activity and jobs to Gosford,” he said.
“We have addressed many of the issues raised by community stakeholders and we want these same stakeholders to be involved in the delivery of the revitalisation plans.”
Acting NSW Government Architect, Olivia Hyde, said the final Gosford City Centre Urban Design Framework (UDF) mapped out a design-led, place-based revitalisation process that focuses on public domain renewal.
“The place-based approach recommends focus on the delivery of attractive public places and the activation of these spaces, as well connectivity between the three core areas of Gosford City Centre,” she said.
“City North focuses on connecting the greatly expanded Gosford Hospital to the city across the rail corridor, to spread the benefits of the $400m investment into the development of the health and education precinct.
“City South makes stronger links between the city and the waterfront parklands, to draw together locals, land, culture, history and recreation in a beautiful parkland destination.
“Civic Heart, Kibble Park and surrounds, links the City North to the City South.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, said the Government also released the final Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC).
“The SIC will collect contributions for infrastructure that supports growth as the revitalisation program continues to roll out, reducing the overall contributions from 4 per cent to 3 per cent of the cost of development, with 1 per cent to go to a new local contributions plan.
“The SIC incentivises development in Gosford and reflects the Government’s $52m commitment to upgrade vital water and sewer infrastructure, and public domain in the city centre,” Minister Roberts said.
The SEPP will remain a stand-alone state policy until Central Coast Council completes its comprehensive Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
The Government unveiled the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC), a merged entity under the leadership of Cassel.
“When it comes to urban renewal and seizing opportunities to drive economic growth in cities, there is no one better than Michael Cassel,” Roberts said.
Lee Shearer will now focus on the continued delivery of the many other priority projects of the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036.
Revitalisation of Gosford City Centre as the regional capital of a healthy, prosperous and connected Central Coast, is a key ministerial priority of the Regional Plan.
Roberts said the future of Gosford was also his personal priority.
“I will continue to help, drive and deliver outcomes for the generations of people who grow up on the Coast …it has been a great place to live, but up until now, it has been a difficult place to have enough job opportunities for kids,” Roberts said.
He said Gosford would become “an incredible new city, just as we have been able to do in Newcastle, Parramatta, Liverpool and other places.
“Gosford is now going to become a showcase for a new and vibrant community.
“What we have seen in Newcastle, and that transformation under Mick Cassel, we will also see in Gosford.
“Today is the day we can proudly say Gosford is on the move,” Roberts said.
Media release, Oct 10
Matthew Porter, NSW Department of Planning
Press conference, Oct 10
Anthony Roberts, NSW Planning Minister
Jackie Pearson, journalist