Shopping centre plans fall foul of amalgamation

The $3.25 million redevelopment of a shopping centre in Ocean Beach Rd, which was approved seven years ago, appears to have fallen foul of the planning processes during the council amalgamation.
The Umina Mall redevelopment was hindered by delays in reaching an agreement with the council on the value of a closed laneway to be incorporated in the development.
According to conditions of consent, the development could not proceed until the laneway had been purchased and consolidated with the land currently owned by Umina Mall.
Owner Mr Arthur Laundy was ultimately advised by the former Administrator to take the matter up with the new council.
It is now unclear whether the original approval has expired in the meantime and a new development application will be required.
The original redevelopment plans were approved in 2010.
In December 2015, the former Gosford Council approved changes to Mr Laundy’s plans to redevelop the shopping mall which is bounded by Ocean beach Rd, Pozieres Ave and Lone Pine Ave, Umina.
Even though more than five years had passed since the 2010 approval, Gosford Council chief Mr Paul Anderson allowed Mr Laundy to amend his plans, stating: “Council is of the opinion that the amended proposal is a minor modification and is substantially the same development consented to by the Council.”
Consent was given on the proviso that 11 lots were consolidated, including all closed roads, into a single allotment.
On September 20, former Council Administrator Mr Ian Reynolds wrote to Mr Laundy to explain Council’s position regarding the potential purchase of a closed road adjacent to the house at 537 Ocean Beach Rd, Umina.
“I have received a briefing from staff on the history of the matter which, it appears, goes back to at least March 2011,” Mr Reynold’s letter said.
“I am advised that agreement was not reached on a potential purchase price by March 2015 with the result that a third party valuer was engaged to determine a valuation in late 2015,” the letter said.
“It does not appear that there was any agreement that this determination would be binding on the parties.
“It further appears from Council records that the matter did not proceed to finalisation at that time (it being noted that the third party valuation was not in accordance with Council’s resolution in 2011).”
The final paragraphs of Mr Reynolds letter informed Mr Laundy that he would have to wait for the newly-elected Central Coast Council to revisit the issue.
“The Central Coast Council was subject to caretaker provisions in the lead up to local government elections on September 9.
“This means that I, as Administrator, am not able to revisit the valuations issue.
“Any reconsideration would be the responsibility of the elected Council.”
The 2015 approval of Laundy’s amended proposal did not extend the five-year deadline for commencement of the redevelopment that was originally approved in 2010.
SOURCES:
Letter, 20 Sep 2017
Ian Reynolds, Central Coast Council
Gosford DA Tracker Website, 11 Oct 2017
DA37199/2009, Central Coast Council

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