Council Meeting Highlights 22 March 2017

Date

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Release

Community consultation to be extended for Peat Island Planning Proposal

A Planning Proposal for Peat Island and surrounds, seeking to rezone the land to permit a mix of residential, community, environmental recreation and employment land, uses will be referred to the Department of Planning for a gateway determination, allowing it to come back to council for community consultation.

The community consultation period, will be extended to at least three months and a decision ultimately made by the newly elected Council.

Council Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, assured the community this is just the start of what may be a very long process with a great deal of community consultation before there is any rezoning at or in the vicinity of Peat Island.

“This is just the first step – the beginning of a potential rezoning,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The planning proposal will go to the Department of Planning & Environment for what the legislation calls a “gateway determination”, and if there is a gateway determination then the proposal goes out for formal public exhibition – and this is when the community has the formal opportunity to comment on the proposal.

“In my view, any such exhibition should be at least three times as long as the normal period to ensure there is sufficient time for public assessment and input.  I have indicated that community information sessions need to be in the local area during the exhibition period.

“I have also made it clear, in the resolution that any final decision will be made by a future elected Council rather than by me as Administrator.”

The site is owned by the State Government with the first proposal for a rezoning lodged with the former Gosford City Council in August 2014.

Key changes which have been incorporated in the new proposal include the following:

  • Residential dwelling numbers have been reduced from 400-500 to 268 dwellings.
  • Building heights have been reduced from 17 metres to 12 metres.
  • The amount of land dedicated to national park has increased from 2.6 Ha to 11.3 Ha.
  • Publicly accessible open space has also been increased from 2 Ha to 10 Ha.

The revised proposal will provide opportunities for public access to new areas of the foreshore and Peat Island, are not currently available.

The proposal will now be referred to the Department of Planning requesting a gateway determination.


Housing Development Controls to be aligned across the Coast

Council is seeking community feedback on a plan to align housing development controls across the Central Coast.

Currently two different sets of planning controls apply to dwellings across the two former Local Government Areas. Under the NSW Department of Planning and Environment issued Guidance for merged Councils on planning functions, amalgamated Councils must look for differences and inconsistencies in these controls and also look for opportunities to harmonise them.

Council Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said the community was looking for consistency in planning rules across the Coast and this plan will deliver that for housing.

“This Plan will harmonise planning controls for single dwellings across the Coast only, not for multi-unit developments,” Mr Reynolds said.

“More consistent housing development controls will help reduce development application turn-around times, align terminology, reduce and simplify the information needed – basically cut red tape and make it really clear what residents can and cannot build on their property.”

“We want to align the controls so the same rules apply for homeowners across the Coast.”

The Draft Housing Development Control Plan will shortly go out on exhibition and residents are encouraged to review the proposed changes and have their say via Council’s Your Voice Our Coast Website.


Community encouraged to comment on first ever Asbestos Policy for the Central Coast

Council tonight endorsed a draft of the first ever policy for asbestos management on the Central Coast to go out on public exhibition.

This policy is based on the Model Asbestos Policy for NSW Councils, released by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, which requests Councils to review their current asbestos management policies and amend where necessary.

Council Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said at the time of amalgamation neither the former Wyong Shire nor Gosford City Councils had an Asbestos Management Policy.

“There is a genuine concern about handling this potentially deadly product and it is time we had a consistent approach to its management across the entire Central Coast community,” Mr Reynolds said.

“A product which unfortunately was commonplace in building materials right across Australia between the 1940’s and the late 1980’s, is still having repercussions over a decade since being banned.”

“That is at the heart of this policy – it provides all the information Council and the community need to manage asbestos risk and sets out roles and responsibilities that are consistent across NSW – so we all know where we stand and are doing the right thing.”

The new Draft Asbestos Policy will go out on public exhibition shortly and residents are encouraged to comment via Council’s Your Voice Our Coast Website.


Draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan on public exhibition

Central Coast Council will place its draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan on exhibition following this evening’s meeting.

See Separate Release


EOI process delivers strong interest in audit processes of Council

Council has received 51 applications from business and community members for three membership positions on its new Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee.

At the January 24 Council Meeting, Council established an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee and called for Expressions of Interest, which was widely advertised, for three external members to be appointed.

Council Administrator, Mr Ian Reynolds, said the establishment of an internal audit committee was recommended by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and he was pleased with the response from the EOI process.

“51 responses is fantastic and highlights the interest in the business and wider community to make a positive contribution to new Central Coast Council,” said Mr Reynolds.

“The role of the committee is to review all of Council’s operations including compliance, risk management, fraud control, financial management and governance and it is important to have external expertise and oversight of those processes.

“We need to ensure we have the right checks and balances in place, and that our finances and process are sound so we can continue to deliver the services our community need, want and value.”

An internal panel of senior members of staff is currently reviewing the applications with the aim of identifying three preferred candidates. A further report will come back to Council recommending the appointment of the independent members and when meetings will be held.

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Last updated : Wed 18 Jul 2018