Ettalong commercial zone should have three-storey limit

The Ettalong Beach resident’s group, Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development, would like to respond to Matthew Wales’ letter (Peninsula News edition 466).
In 2005, Mr Wales’ “highly successful Peninsula Urban Design Strategy (PUDS)” consultation process was labelled by one local residents group as “a one-day information session” which attracted “50 people out of 34,000” residents.
The major comment on this was “I don’t believe the community has had an opportunity to have some discussion on the document”. (Peninsula News 17 Oct. 2005, Residents Speak About PUDS, Gosford Council Meetings, reported by Lyle Stone.)
Another resident’s group spokesman said “his organization was disappointed to read that the Council considered the consultation process a success”.
They went on to say “of the 77 submissions received by council … 61 referred to the consultation process as inadequate”.
Mr Wales’ response was reported as being: “It’s urgent that we do move ahead” … ”urban development should focus on the quality of the design, not necessarily the height, bulk, or amount”.
The subsequent LEP2014 produced a P1 zoning for a 17 metre, five-storey high “commercial corridor” in Ettalong Beach, which the majority of Ettalong Beach residents feel is too high.
This P1 height zone exceeds almost all Central Coast centres except Gosford City, Terrigal, and Woy Woy CBD.
The Ettalong waterfront L2 zone of 11.5 metres (three storeys) adjacent to P1, now houses the seven storey, 24-plus metre Atlantis building.
And the latest development application, DA55896, would involve a total height of approximately 22 metres (including building services structures) in the commercial corridor.
The PUDS 2005 document recommended “that new developments maintain the best features of traditional streetscapes and existing housing patterns.”
The traditional streetscapes of Ettalong Beach are colonial heritage based, not highrise, high-density, unit blocks.
The Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development group believes that there should be a three-storey limit for our village’s commercial zone, that local traffic would be hugely impacted by high-rise development, with no possible road expansion, and that high-rises would destroy the area’s amenity.
The Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development group does not infer that Council is responsible for ’’inappropriate development”, as alleged by Mr. Wales.
We infer that Council is being asked to approve developments by commercial enterprises which have a vested interest in hugely profitable buildings whose scope is massive “height, bulk, or amount”.
In the overview to the PUDS 2005 draft, under the heading “Development”, it was stated that “new planning policies are necessary to offer commercially competitive opportunities for investment whilst ensuring new developments maintained the best features of traditional streetscapes and existing housing patterns, and also provide contemporary standards of accommodation”.
In the summary to the draft it was stated “If the Peninsula is to retain the environmental qualities that make it a highly attractive residential setting, both the level of population growth and the location of future development must not compromise current levels of amenity, existing scenic qualities or environmental character”.
The Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development group is completely in agreement with these sentiments.

Email, 4 Apr 2019
Peter Gillis, Ettalong

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