Woy Woy in Narara district in latest regional plan

The Narara District as outlined in the plan

Woy Woy has been named as a strategic centre in the latest version of the NSW Government’s Regional Plan for the Central Coast.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, UDIA Central Coast Chair, Caine King, and Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin, announced the plan at Gosford Leagues Park on December 6.

Building upon the 2016 Central Coast Regional Plan 2036, the State Government has widened the net and extended its vision in the Draft Central Coast Regional Plan 2041, which is said to have been largely influenced by changes in the way people work and live in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has announced an updated vision for the next 20 years on the Coast, focussing on what it is calling a “15-minute region”.

The premise is to concentrate on taking a holistic approach to neighbourhoods and ensure that planning, job, infrastructure and housing decisions are co-ordinated with the aim of providing everything residents need withing a 15-minute walk, cycle or drive from their home.

For the Woy Woy Peninsula, the plan says, the emphasis will need to be on development proposals which protect
the scenic quality of the area and retain its “unique environmental character”.

“Increased housing choices will be focused close to public transport and need to consider sustainable ways of accommodating short stays for visitors,” the plan says.

Woy Woy has been included in the Narara District in the plan – one of four districts covering the entire region.

The government is encouraging community feedback on the revised draft plan before March 4 next year.

“This is our blueprint to ensure the Central Coast prospers and the community’s feedback is critical to make sure we get it right,” Crouch said at the launch.

“Tourism will play a major role in helping our region recover from the pandemic, which is why we proposed strategies to keep public transport operating later and allow bars and galleries to open longer in our tourist hotspots.

“Housing affordability is a key priority and the plan would set up a group of housing experts and service providers to track and supply the land, housing and infrastructure needed for communities to thrive.”

King said the Central Coast is unique in having one Regional Plan, one Local Government Authority and one Local Aboriginal Land Council.

“We must capitalise on this opportunity to act in a cooperative manner to deliver the jobs and housing needed on the Central Coast,” he said.

“Our members are up to the challenge of building smarter and more sustainable and compact communities, where daily activities are contained within a 15-minute walk or ride.

“We need this strategic planning developed for both future green field and brown field developments, to provide direction and confidence for the development industry.”

King said the plan sets achievable targets for infrastructure and affordable housing which was really important.

It also outlines the work that needs to be done to unlock land and make it developer ready, he said.

Martin said the Central Coast is blessed with natural endowments, a talented workforce and an enviable lifestyle.

“This plan will build our region so that it can accommodate regional growth in an inclusive and sustainable way,” she said.

“The last 18 months gave us a taste of how our local towns benefit from local spend when our large commuter base work from home.

“We want to see these economic benefits become permanent through local jobs creation and develop housing that meets the changing demographic of our population.”

Martin said it was important for a range of jobs to be offered in the region to support the work, live and play 15-minute scenario.

The plan’s objectives centre on jobs, Aboriginal self-determination, housing, green infrastructure and net zero emissions.

The plan outlines strategic direction for land-use decisions that grow jobs, increase supply of diverse housing and build infrastructure to ensure most of what people need is near where they live in each of the major centres within each district.

A connection to environment is at its core with details on better linking people to to parks, green and blue public spaces and a close collaboration with the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council aims to help the Darkinjung people achieve the economic, social, cultural and environmental aspirations they have for their land, the plan says.

You have until midnight on Friday March 4, 2022, to have your say on the draft plan.

It is available for viewing at https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/centralcoast2041.

Terry Collins