The Coast is currently operating under four different environmental planning instruments and two development control plans, each with different planning controls. The consolidation of these instruments under a single Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) will alleviate existing complexity and inconsistencies thus creating certainty for our residents and development industry on the Coast.
The consolidation of Planning Controls will also deliver many social and environmental benefits for the community. These include increasing the size of the minimum lots for E3 Environmental Management zoned land to preserve ecologically valuable land and the introduction of dual occupancy into the R2 Low Density Residential zone to enable families to down-size and age in place whilst assisting their children to get their first home.
Dual occupancies will only be permitted where secondary dwellings are currently permitted and the assessment process has stringent controls for character and design. Dual occupancies are currently permissible within the R2 Low Density Residential zone of the former Wyong LGA but not the former Gosford LGA.
The intention of the consolidated LEP is to provide a single LEP that is reasonable for the Central Coast i.e. This has been achieved by merging the most appropriate controls from each of the former planning controls to develop one single balanced document. It was never intended to have multiple development standards for the Central Coast.
As part of the consolidation process, Council staff have conducted extensive engagement with you, the community, and will be further briefing Councillors later this month.
We placed the Draft Central Coast Local Environmental Plan 2018 (CCLEP) Planning Proposal and draft instrument along with the Draft Central Coast Development Control Plan 2018 (CCDCP) on public exhibition for approximately three months from 6 December 2018 to 28 February 2019 with submissions accepted through March 2019.
During this time, approximately 700 written submissions were received and are currently being considered. We also held 6 pop up sessions and 4 workshops, attended by approximately 345 community members.
During the consultation a wide range of issues were discussed including the reduction in the minimum lot size in the R2 Low Density Residential zone and increase in minimum lot size in the E3 Environmental Management zone to align planning instruments across the Coast.
Studies we have undertaken (having regard for environmental constraints and existing uses) indicate that the impact of the reduction of minimum lot size in the R2 Low Density Residential zone will be minimal, with the potential for approximately 1,147 new lots across the entire former Gosford LGA.
Consolidation of the planning instruments creates consistency in the way Council applies its planning controls across the Central Coast and we have been mindful to not impose a one size fits all approach to development.
What works in some areas of the coast may not work in others, so this process has retained site specific and town centre controls in many areas, such as in Woy Woy and Terrigal, and additional controls and site specific chapters are part of the Draft CCDCP. This includes the retention of character statements in the former Gosford LGA under the Draft CCDCP
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) supported the proposal for the development of a single Consolidated Local Environmental Plan for the Central Coast granting Gateway Determination on 26 October 2017. They proceeded to work with us on a digital environmental planning instrument for the CCLEP, which would be a catalyst project for moving to digital mapping across the state.
The DPIE report assessing the initial planning proposal stated the following - “the need for the planning proposal arises from the Council’s intent to create a single Standard Instrument (SI) compliant LEP for the newly amalgamated council area. While the existing instruments can continue to operate and there has been no directive from the State to undertake consolidation, Council has resolved to prepare a consolidated plan and has already expended considerable effort in progressing to this stage. On balance Council’s wish to proceed with a planning proposal for a single SI compliant LEP is supported as it signals progress towards a single unified council.
The report goes on to support the proposal noting that it will have social and economic benefits.
The DPIE considered the proposal to prepare a consolidated plan to have merit and as such recommended progression of the proposal with a Gateway Determination.
The consolidated CCLEP is the first step, and a crucial one, for the Central Coast, and places us on a solid path to meet the future needs of our growing community.
Council’s ultimate goal here is to have one LEP and one DCP that will help improve and protect our local environment, encourage investment, create new jobs and provide quality housing for the growing population of the Central Coast.