Extension of time for Local Strategic Planning Statement rejected

Planning Minister Rob Stokes

A deadline of July 1 looms for the completion of the Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS), Central Coast Council’s centrepiece of land use planning for the future.

It is meant to guide the region’s future growth and development “to 2036 and beyond’’.

The State Government has refused the council’s request for a 12 month extension to write the statement, threatening Council with a performance review.

Council had asked on March 24 for the extra time to enlarge on its ward based approach to the plan, with concerns about how it would consult with the community with the pandemic restrictions in place.

But a representative of Planning Minister Rob Stokes wrote back on April 21 and said: “Where councils do not demonstrate a clear commitment to delivering their LSPS on time, the Minister for Planning and Public Space may, as a first step, formally consult with the Minister for Local Government to determine whether a Performance Improvement Order under s.438A of the Local Government Act 1993 is warranted.’’

The deadline to have the plan ratified by the Department of Planning is July 1.

Deputy Mayor, Jane Smith, said It was disappointing that the Minister had not allowed an extension of time for consultation due to the impacts of COVID-19.

‘’This would have allowed Council to use a range of strategies to consult with our community on this 20 year vision for future land use on the Central Coast,” she said.

“We will now need to undertake this consultation through online strategies, which may limit the ability of many people in our community to engage.”

Cr Smith said council had resolved to take a Ward approach and this had not changed.

“This approach helps to ensure the priorities and local character of our diverse Central Coast are considered in the development of the new LSPS,’’ she said.

‘’It should not be a “one size fits all” approach.

“It is important for our community and our councillors to now engage in this process.”

Council’s planning director, Scott Cox, said in a report adopted by Council on April 27, that due to the imminent timeframe, Council could consider the draft LSPS as an interim document to meet the deadline.

‘’Future Community and Councillor workshops could be conducted once COVID19 restrictions cease and a further review completed by 1 July, 2021,’’ he said.

Council says the LSPS will explain how state and regional plans, such as the Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, will be implemented.

The LSPS will identify the challenges that the coast will face over the next 20 years and look at how the existing and draft controls in the Local Environmental Plans and the existing and draft Development Control Plans may need to change to meet the community’s needs, now and in the future.

The public exhibition of the draft LSPS is proposed to start on May 8 for 28 days.


Agenda item 4.9

Central Coast Council meeting, April 27

Media statement, April 28

Cr Jane Smith