Three-month Peat Island consultation begins

An areal view of Peat Island in the Hawkesbury

Residents have until December 20 to make a submission on the recently released Planning Proposal for Mooney Mooney and Peat Island.

Touted by the State Government as a proposal to breathe new life into old assets, open Peat Island to the public and revitalise Mooney Mooney, there are members of the community who are not so sure about a rezoning which would see almost 300 residences built in the area.

First submitted to the then Gosford Council in August 2014, the planning proposal was referred to the Department of Industry and the Environment (DPIE) for Gateway determination.

In September 2015, the DPIE requested a revised proposal to address various issues.

This revised proposal was submitted to Council in November 2016 and a Gateway determination was issued with conditions in August 2017, extending the timeframe for completion of an LEP (Local Environment Plan) to August 2021.

Following extensive consultation, a second Planning Proposal Addendum package was submitted to Council in November 2020, resulting in the current Planning Proposal, now open for public exhibition on the Central Coast Council website.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the proposal aims to unlock publicly-owned land in the area to capitalise on the stunning Hawkesbury River setting.

Key features of the proposal include: Nearly 270 new homes at Mooney Mooney to deliver more housing supply

Retention of nine unlisted historical buildings on the island, and four on the mainland, to be restored and used for new community and commercial opportunities; new retail and café or restaurant opportunities; approximately 9.65ha of open space, including opportunities for walking and cycling tracks, parklands and recreational facilities; retention of the chapel and surrounding land for community use; and 10.4ha of bushland dedicated as a conservation area.

“The NSW Government has been consulting widely, culminating in this rezoning proposal that strikes a balance between future land uses and achieving the best social and economic outcomes for the Mooney Mooney community,” Crouch said.

“It also opens up 2km of river water frontage with the potential for aquaculture.

“It is an amazing balance of new development and preserving the natural beauty of the area.

“It’s about ripping down fences and opening up a parcel of land which has been closed to the public for almost a century.”

With housing affordability a major issue on the Central Coast, Crouch said the planned residences, which would include detached, attached housing and low-rise residential flat buildings ranging in height from one to three storeys, would provide another avenue for people to get into their first home.

Resident John Andrews, who is a member of the Mooney Mooney-Cheero Progress Association, said while opening up the island for tourism was a good idea, many would be shocked by the proposal to build 267 residences in the area, particularly some on land west of the M1.

“Hopefully the plan respects the inclusion of this area in the National Trust’s register,” Andrews said.

“The problems with homes which are two and three storeys high is that they will not fit in with the historic buildings in the community, which are primarily cottages.

“There hasn’t been a land release on the Hawkesbury for almost 100 years and it might come as a bit of a shock to the community.

“It is a good idea to publicise and encourage visitors to this part of the world, which is not as well-known as it should be, and zoning the island for tourism is a good thing, paving the way for everything from hotels to backpackers.

“But tourism would be a slow build, as opposed to a fast build of hundreds of residences.

“The land between the M1 and the island should also be zoned tourism and nor for private dwellings.”

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said any future uses of the land would recognise and protect the site’s significant Aboriginal and European heritage.

Community information webinars will be held over coming weeks with details to be available shortly.

Pavey said the Government would continue to work with the Peat Island/Mooney Mooney Community Reference Group on the future of the area’s community facilities.

The rezoning proposal will also remain open to submissions from the public until Monday, December 20.

Terry Collins

8 Comments on "Three-month Peat Island consultation begins"

  1. Peat island doesn’t need any housing. Maybe an outdoor restaurant and parkland to entice tourism than that money can be used for our water ways in the area. The area does not need housing of any sort this is an essential opportunity for employment for the local area and us locals who live up here and our children not to better some persons property portfolio.

    • Sandra Pintos | September 26, 2021 at 1:27 pm |

      Wonderful idea the area is so rich with natural beauty.Nature is what everyone craves for who endured this pandemic.Increased employment for locals,artisans, restaurateurs oh so many opportunities. May we choose wisely.

  2. More housing is needed in this area to allow businesses to have a decent year round supply of customers. The number of houses will always be swamped by the tourists and boaters who swarm in every day.

  3. OMG, a developers dream… lots of money if he has the right connections…let’s build more high rise and shoe boxes for investors.
    Another suburban dream for Sydneysiders…

  4. I strongly disagree with housing on Peat Island…The last residents only left 10 years ago to nursing homes.

  5. Theme park. Thats the answer. Crackpot and ridiculous idea I know but this would open up to the public maybe 1 million visitors a year. Desecrated privacy yes but maybe a Chinese investor can take over the countryside and boost the commy partys portfolio. Land grab for a buck campaign. Low density housing and destruction of Austraylas way of life. Why not. There for the taking.

  6. Shontai Simic | September 27, 2021 at 8:58 am |

    Just make it an attraction, ghost tours, put some tourist points on the main land with some shops and a Cafe.

  7. Near transport to both Sydney and Newcastle…great for residential if 1-2 stories and in keeping with historic nature of existing buildings. Can also accommodate low key tourism…but with such iconic land the Liberal govt will be screaming DEVELOP, DEVELOP.

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