Peninsula should speak up about planning, says Smith

Deputy mayor Cr Jane Smith has urged the Peninsula community to have a say about planning for the future of the area.
Cr Smith said it was generally agreed that renewal was needed on the Peninsula but the community needed a strong voice about where they wanted things such as open space, commercial, industrial and residential areas and transport infrastructure needs.
“I think that the Peninsula is an area that does have constraints,’’ she said, citing the two roads going in and going out of the area.
Cr Smith was successful in getting Central Coast Council to adopt a ward-based approach to the Local Strategic Planning Statement that by law Council must adopt by July next year.
The statement, when adopted, will become the 20-year land use planning vision for the local government area.
The statement would aim to highlight where council wants such things as open space, residential areas and commercial and industrial areas.
The council adopted the ward approach at its October 8 meeting, accepting the motion from Cr Smith.
It agreed to hold community engagement meetings in each ward to discuss the statement which will become the primary strategic tool to express the desired future of an area.
She said the statement would need to look at the capacity for growth in the areas and whether the roads were a limiting factor.
She said the statement would give the high level direction for all five wards and the Comprehensive Local Environment Plan would provide the rules.
Cr Smith said it was her personal view that council needed to work on the Statement before making any dramatic changes to the Local Environment Plan.
With the decision to adopt the ward approach, council’s chief executive officer Mr Gary Murphy will provide a recommended process by which the ward councillors are given an opportunity to participate in the preparation of the provisions of those parts of the statement that deal with their ward.
Mr Murphy will provide a monthly councillor planning workshop so interested councillors could be provided with information and updates on planning matters such as the statement, strategic planning processes, development proposals and other relevant matters.
Cr Smith’s motion included documentation that quoted the NSW Department of Planning which said the government included provisions to give recently amalgamated councils the option to address matters by ward in their first planning statement.
“This approach would help ensure the strategic priorities and local character of the former councils would be adequately considered in the development of the new council’s strategic vision,’’ the Department of Planning website stated.
“This would be particularly relevant while new councils are developing a new consolidated Local Environment Plan for the amalgamated area.”
Council is working on a new consolidated plan for the Coast as well as a comprehensive plan.
In July, when she was still mayor, Cr Smith put forward a mayoral minute to the council in an attempt to get the council staff to concentrate on work on the new comprehensive local environment plan rather than consolidating the plans from the two former Wyong and Gosford plans.
Her mayoral minute was not adopted but was amended to councillors holding a workshop to discuss the implications of the proposed consolidated plan, to consider public submissions, and to discuss the process for the comprehensive plan, including the community engagement process.
That workshop has taken place but the outcomes have not been made public.
The decision taken at the July 22 meeting did not include the tabling of any of the discussions.
The draft consolidated local environment plan will be presented to the council, possibly before the end of the year.
The council’s draft urban spatial plan, currently out on public exhibition until October 24, is a framework for the Local Strategic Planning Statement.
At its July 22 meeting, the councillors noted that this in effect commenced the process of developing a comprehensive local environment plan and the Development Control Plan for the coast.

SOURCE:
Central Coast Council agenda 7.2, 8 Oct 2019
Interview (Merilyn Vale), 10 Oct, 2019
Cr Jane Smith, Central Coast Council

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