Coordinator General aggrieved over waterfront development assertions

Central Coast’s Coordinator General, Ms Lee Shearer, has flexed her muscles and announced the termination of a planning proposal for Gosford’s CBD.Central Coast’s Coordinator General, Ms Lee Shearer. Archive image.

Coordinator General for the Central Coast, Lee Shearer, has said statements made in the last edition of Coast Community News, were “assertions” that were “incorrect”.

“The assertions made in recent articles referring to the draft Development Control Plan 2018 (DCP) in the September 13 edition of Coast Community News that the Department of Planning and Environment is intending to develop the Gosford Waterfront (the water side of Dane Dve) and that the Department is somehow hiding this from the community via the draft DCP and draft SEPP, are incorrect,” Shearer said. “The opening paragraph of your front page article stating that “the NSW Department of Planning’s draft Development Control Plan for Gosford reveals the State Government’s intention to develop the city’s waterfront”, is false,” she said. “There have been no changes made to the planning controls on the Waterfront, as was made clear on page 6 of the NSW Government Architect Report, City Centre South, that can be found on the GoGosford site.

“The implication in the article that I have somehow been disingenuous when I have said that the proposed revitalisation of Gosford City Centre would not touch the waterfront, is also wrong.

“The draft DCP has been informed by the Government Architect’s recommendations, which were placed on exhibition throughout the year in four reports which did not include the waterfront. “However, both the draft SEPP and the draft DCP apply to the ‘Gosford City Centre’, as currently defined in the Gosford LEP 2014, and this includes a part of the waterfront (refer to the map on page 7 of the Gosford City Centre Proposed Delivery Mechanisms Consultation Paper, and page 24 of the draft DCP that shows the southern extent of Gosford City Centre, relative to the waterfront). “Because the proposed SEPP and DCP will replace the existing provisions in the Gosford LEP 2014 and Gosford DCP 2013 for the Gosford City Centre, they need to include relevant controls for all of the Gosford City Centre.

“The incorporation of controls from Council’s existing DCP into the draft DCP 2018, contained in appendices, has involved either minor changes, or removing outdated provisions. “For example, sites that have since been developed (ATO and DFSI buildings) and a key site which is now covered by the broader DCP 2018 (St Hilliers). “Or because they are inconsistent with the Government Architect recommendations, or the intent of the existing Council SEPP or draft DCP. “Note also that Central Coast Council has chosen to locate its Performing Arts Centre elsewhere. “The draft DCP includes appendices that replicate relevant parts of the existing Gosford DCP 2013 with controls for residential and business areas to the north, west and south of the City Centre and includes measures to cater for specific types of development in these areas. “The controls for these areas and matters such as advertising notification and heritage, largely replicate what is in the existing development control plan and that is why they are placed in appendices. “The provisions relating to the waterfront should not contain ‘surprises’ to the community and Central Coast Council as they have come from the existing Gosford DCP 2013, which was subject to community consultation, has been in place for several years and is on Central Coast Council’s website.

“The article also states: The maximum floor plate size for commercial buildings will be 2,200 square metres, which is greater than the 1,500 square metres provided for in other parts of the CBD. “This statement is comparing two different things. “The reference to floor plates up to 2,200 square metres is from GDCP 2013 section “The reference to floor plates of 1,500 square metres elsewhere relates to the tower component of multi-storey developments, as opposed to the podiums on which they sit, which could be larger. “On the question of large site provisions and how they apply to the Gosford Waterfront, the draft SEPP contains provisions for sites greater than 5,600 square metres, which allow exceptions to floor space ratio and height of developments subject to an enhanced design excellence process. “However, these will not apply to the zones on the water side of Dane Dve: RE1 Public Recreation or the W2 Recreational Waterways zone.

“The draft SEPP did not include text specifying zones where the larger site provisions applied. “It will be clarified in the final SEPP that these provisions only apply to B (business) zones. “The Department accepts there may be elements of the draft DCP that require refinement, tightening and amendment, and that is precisely why we place important planning documents like this on public exhibition. “All submissions made to the draft DCP are being carefully considered to determine whether changes should be made to the finalised DCP and to ensure there are no unforeseen consequences of the proposed planning controls. “We extended the exhibition period of the draft DCP by one week because we know how important it is for people to have their say on planning controls that will shape the future development of their regional capital to ensure it is a thriving and prosperous city.”

Media statement, Sep 26 Matthew Porter, office of Lee Shearer