Planning Minister Mr Rob Stokes has threatened Central Coast Council with a performance review.
He has accused the council of not demonstrating “a clear commitment to delivering their Local Strategic Planning Statement on time”, after the council asked for a 12-month extension to write the statement.
The council’s request was refused.
A representative of the Planning Minister wrote to the council on April 21 stating: “Where councils do not demonstrate a clear commitment to delivering their Local Strategic Planning Statement 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.”
Deputy mayor Cr 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 statement,’’ 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.”
The Local Strategic Planning Statement is meant to be the centrepiece of land use planning for the future “to 2036 and beyond’’ and ratified by July 1.
It would 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.
Council’s planning director Mr Scott Cox said that the Council could consider the draft Statement an interim document to meet the deadline.
‘’Future community and councillor workshops could be conducted once Covid-19 restrictions cease and a further review completed by July 1, 2021,’’ he said.
Public exhibition of the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement is proposed to start on May 8 for 28 days.
SOURCE: Central Coast Council agenda 4.9, 27 Apr 2020 – Media statement, 28 Apr 2020 – Jane Smith, Central Coast Council