Final Draft Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan to be re-exhibited

Artist’s impression of a future Ourimbah town centreArtist’s impression of a future Ourimbah town centre

Six years in the making, Central Coast Council has moved to re-exhibit the Final Draft Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan, to allow for additional public consultation.

The Strategy for Ourimbah, according to a staff report considered when Council met on Monday, November 12, identifies the long-term vision and principles that will guide land use planning in the area. “It has been prepared in response to the anticipated levels of growth and change that are expected to occur in the coming decades,” the staff report said.

“It is intended to enable the Central Coast to grow in a sustainable way, by allowing for future growth to occur within Ourimbah, in a manner that does not compromise the attributes that make the area such a unique and desirable place,” it said. “The Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan sets out a new 20 year vision that will provide the long term vision and principles to make it a great place to live and work,” Mayor Smith said.

“The Strategy and Masterplan project was identified as one of the key planning projects in the former Wyong Shire Strategic Plan 2014/2015,” she said. “It is important that we look at ways to accommodate growth while protecting the area’s unique character and sensitive setting. “We have listened to feedback, revised the Strategy and Masterplan and are seeking additional feedback from the community to ensure that the revised recommendations support positive growth and change across the area.” The exhibition period will be for 60 days, commencing in February, 2019. “I think that is an example of where Council has done a great job of listening to the community,” she said. “The original draft plan went on exhibition in 2014, and I know that there were concerns about density, so in preparing this draft, we listened to the community, to come up with a much scaled back version of the master plan.

“There was a strong community backlash from what was initially proposed so I really think it was a credit to the community to ensure their voices were heard.” The resolution passed by Councillors, on November 12, was that Council re-exhibit the Draft Final Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan for 28 days, to allow for additional public consultation. Council will consider a further report on the results of the public exhibition. According to the staff report, “Ourimbah is strategically located close to existing and future infrastructure, including the M1 Motorway, the Main Northern railway line, the regional campus of the University of Newcastle (UON), TAFE NSW (Hunter Institute), and the Central Coast Community College.”

In October, 2011, the former Wyong Council entered into a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW to prepare a masterplan for the development of Ourimbah Town Centre into an education, training, research and recreational precinct, in order to deliver signifi cant economic and social benefits to the region.

The Draft Ourimbah Land Use Strategy and Masterplan was placed on public exhibition in 2016, and Council received 46 written submissions. As a result of submissions, revisions to the strategy were made, including “more detailed contextual information to respond to key issues like fl ooding and other environmental constraints…, further detail in relation to the Town Centre Masterplan, and precinct-level strategic land use plans. “The outcomes of the detailed investigations have informed the Low Growth Model for the Ourimbah area. “This includes both a reduction in the number of investigation areas as well as in the anticipated dwelling and population capacity.”

The University Precinct is no longer an investigation area, and the Shirley St Precinct remains, but the capacity is reduced, subject to detailed study and servicing. The Train Station Precinct has been removed (previous capacity up to 150 dwellings). The strategy may lead to the formulation of new planning controls, according to the staff report. Council is expected to fi nalise and adopt the Draft Final Land Use Strategy and Masterplan in February-March, 2019.

Source: Media release, Nov 12 Central Coast Council media Interview, Nov 13 Jane Smith, Central Coast Council Agenda item 3.6, Nov 12 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting Jackie Pearson, journalist

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