Central Coast Council met a NSW Government deadline with one day to spare when it adopted its first Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) at its June 29 meeting.
The statement has been more than two years in the making and Council tried to get another one year extension to continue to refine it but the State Government said it had to be submitted by July 1.
Last minute additions from Deputy Mayor Jane Smith added priorities and descriptors for Gosford, describing it as the capital of the Central Coast and a regional city nestled in a narrow valley, providing views to the surrounding ridgelines from public spaces within the city centre.
“It will respond to its surrounding environment by ensuring that the built form does not dominate the landscape and that views to ridgelines are available from public spaces within the city and mid-distances,” was added to a section on the function of the city.
Amenities were amended to include the built form would not dominate the landscape but respond to context and character of the surrounding bushland setting and would ensure clear views to the ridgelines from public spaces within the city.
Added priorities included a focus on an increase in residential development within the city to increase amenity, urban lifestyles and the cultural life of the city; encouraging the city as an education hub and the long term evolution of transport to reduce dependence on cars, increase public transport, cycle and pedestrian movement around the city.
The LSPS is Council’s long-term vision and land use planning priorities for the next 20 years for the Central Coast community.
The document is only an interim Statement which will be reviewed within three months with the final statement expected to be adopted by the end of November.
Cr Jillian Hogan said the review was welcomed.
“It is a high-level document and we need to make sure it reflects the aspirations of the Central Coast,” she said.
“Now we have amended it to protect our environment and (against) over-development, I look forward to working with residents on the character statements and details.”
Mayor Lisa Matthews said the statement was an important document that will help shape the future of the Central Coast.
“The Plan aims to balance the social, environmental and economic outcomes for the region over the next 20 years by directing our growth to existing centres, along growth corridors and within planned precincts,” Cr Matthews said.
“As a Council we’re committed to achieving sustainable growth for the Central Coast and this Plan allows us to meet and deliver on our core responsibilities in a sustainable way.
“The Plan is an iterative document that will be able to be reviewed and improved as circumstances and community aspirations change over time.”
The Plan aligns both the State Government’s planning goals written up in the Central Coast Regional Plan, and local strategic planning goals and directions of the One Central Coast Community Strategic Plan 2018.
Consultation on the draft LSPS occurred through online webinars and it was placed online for public exhibition with more than 160 submissions received.
This resulted in some changes such a clear statement from Council that it was not intended as part of the LSPS to remove small reserves and parks as these spaces played an important role in improving community health and wellbeing.
In response to community concerns, Council said it would amend the planning priority to ensure neighborhood “pocket parks” and community reserves were supported and accessible to local communities.
It also deleted sentences that would have allowed Terrigal to be a 24 hour destination.
Other last minute amendments from Cr Jane Smith included reviewing the Toukley and The Entrance planning strategies and masterplans and Bateau Bay’s masterplan with the view of creating a “lifestyle precinct”.
Online forums were held to hear of community concerns and issues.
There were no key issues identified for The Entrance ward as no community members attended and the event was not held.
But forums went ahead in the other four wards.
Agenda item 2.1
Central Coast Council meeting June 29
Media Release, June 30
Cr Jillian Hogan