‘Character statement’ may be developed for Council wards

The Central CoastThe Central Coast Council Wards. Archive may 2017

Central Coast Council will include “character statements” for each ward if it is successful in its request for a 12-month deferral of Central Coast Council’s Draft Local Strategic Planning Statement.

Deputy mayor Cr Jane Smith called for both the deferral and the inclusion of the character statements.
Council decided to defer public exhibition of the statement due to the difficulty allowing the community to have it’s say during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council will write to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment seeking a 12-month extension for the public exhibition of the draft which outlines the basis for strategic planning on the Coast.
Cr Smith said it would be difficult to expect the community to engage in the process at present.
She said all councils in NSW outside of the metropolitan areas had a deadline of the end of June to adopt these statements and most would, like Central Coast Council, be ready to go on public exhibition but it was difficult to see how this could happen under the circumstances.
“We need to do this well so on the advice of staff it is worth asking the question of the Department of Planning for a 12-month extension,” she said.
Local ward representative Cr Troy Marquart asked what would happen if the request to the State Government was unsuccessful.
Director of Planning Mr Scott Cox said it was unknown but his department had a letter prepared for the State Government and would hope for an answer within two weeks.
He said the character statement work would take 12 months and there was to be community workshops which could not go ahead at present.
The statement takes into account economic, social and environmental matters, the planning priorities aligning with any strategic plans applying to areas; the actions required for achieving those planning priorities; and the basis on which the Council is to monitor and report on the implementation of those actions.
At its previous meeting, on March 9, the council had decided to defer its decisions on two other draft documents – the Local Environment Plan and the Development Control Plan – until the Local Strategic Planning Statement had been adopted.
The council also recommended a raft of changes to those two drafts.
Councillors are to receive a further briefing on the draft plans.
Councillors and staff will meet with Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to discuss and outline a process to take these “key strategic planning processes forward”.
The draft plans were developed following a period of public consultation, which generated over 700 written submissions.
The purpose of the plans is to consolidate and harmonise planning controls across the region and simplify planning processes and is the first stage in the Central Coast Comprehensive Local Environment Plan Review.
At the March 9 meeting, Cr Smith said it was doing things back to front to try to finalise the two plans before the Local Strategic Planning Statement was adopted.

Central Coast Council agenda 2.1, 23 Mar 2020