Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, has stressed the need for Council to enforce its own planning controls, after an application for a shop top housing development at 5-7 Church St, Terrigal, was refused at the final Council meeting for 2018.
Smith moved for refusal of the application, which would have comprised two ground-floor shops, 12 residential units and 23 onsite car-parking spaces, against the advice of Council staff, making special mention of its level of non-compliance.
She said the development exceeded the number of storeys by 25 per cent, had no setback to Hudson La, and no communal space had been provided.
Smith said members of the community spent a lot of time and effort contributing to the development of local environment plans and development control plans with the expectation they would be enforced.
“Both the former Gosford and Wyong Councils had a reputation for not enforcing their own planning controls,” she said.
“So I had hoped that as a new Council, we could provide certainty to our community and to developers by adopting a more reflective decision making process.”
Smith said previous ICAC reports showed problems were created when councils didn’t enforce their planning controls.
A report from Council’s Environment and Planning Directorate had recommended that Council grant conditional consent to the proposal, but in a narrow vote, Councillors voted, seven to six, to refuse consent for the $10.7M development in the B2 Local Centre zone.
“The development, as it currently stands, has significant non-compliance with the Development Control Plan (DCP),” Smith said.
“To approve this development when there is such non-compliance with the DCP would create an expectation for similar concessions.
“Although the DCP perhaps doesn’t have the strength of a Local Environment Plan, and one non-compliance may be considered acceptable, to have so many non-compliances sets a poor precedent for future development in Terrigal CBD.”
Clr Kyle MacGregor, who seconded the motion, said: “The most important issue we are dealing with here is what is the point of having planning controls if people won’t comply with them?
“I believe we should be getting people to do their best to comply.
“In the event there is massive variation and they are unable to comply. then I think we’ve got to have a pretty stringent look at that and really go over the detail of it. and try and find a better outcome for the community.”
The refusal was based on three points, with the resolution saying that: “The development is not in the public interest as it will create an expectation that similar non-compliance with Council’s planning controls is acceptable; the development exceeds the number of storeys by 25 per cent; the external wall height is a 23.55 per cent variation; maximum width of enclosed floor space at the fifth level has exceedance of between 10 and 26 per cent; no setback to Hudson La, representing 100 per cent variation; no communal space is provided, representing 100 per cent variation; no deep soil zones are provided, representing 100 per cent variation; and, no side boundary setbacks for visual privacy, representing 100 per cent variation.
Agenda item 3.1, Dec 10
Central Coast Council ordinary meeting
Jackie Pearson, journalist