Wyong Shire Council Development Approvals

About this Item
SubjectsWyong Shire Council; Planning and Development
SpeakersCrittenden Mr Paul
BusinessPrivate Members Statements

Page: 434

    Mr CRITTENDEN (Wyong) [5.52 p.m.]: It is my sad duty to draw to the attention of the House some of the planning problems on the Central Coast. One of the usual methods adopted by the Wyong Shire Council and the Gosford City Council when land has to be rezoned is to make a new local environment plan [LEP]. The ridiculous stage has been reached in Gosford whereby there are 470 local environment plans, and there are several hundred in the Wyong shire. The plethora of LEPs in local government areas has created a minefield for people who wish to ascertain the planning requirements in their area. The Central Coast generally is a rapidly growing area and the Wyong electorate in particular is experiencing great growth. As honourable members would be aware, when there are high rates of growth, issues such as overdevelopment and the provision of infrastructure arise, and very often the two issues are linked.

    Honourable members may recall that during the last session of the previous Parliament, I referred in the House to a development proposal received in August last year by the Wyong Shire Council from a Sydney developer for the construction of a seven-storey block of units in Fraven Street, Toukley. Approximately 2,300 people objected to the proposal. Fortunately it was possible to stop the development and the Wyong Shire Council has moved to implement a residential strategy in Toukley to overcome similar problems. During the recent election campaign a similar problem arose in the new Mardi subdivision. For the benefit of honourable members who have only a passing acquaintance with my electorate I point out that Mardi is a residential estate opposite the Westfield development at Tuggerah. Without using parliamentary resources at all, I made sure that the good citizens of Mardi were made aware of the proposal for a twin towers development with a height ranging from nine storeys to 11 storeys in Woodbury Park Drive, Mardi, near the Wyong Road roundabout.

    The proposal is for 64 two-bedroom units and two levels of car parking. Like the Toukley proposal, it is completely out of character with the surrounding community and would set a dangerous precedent for future high-rise applications throughout the Wyong shire. After admitting that the Woodbury Park Drive application exceeded the current height controls at The Entrance by 11 metres, or three storeys, Wyong Shire Council officers suggested that the current height limit at The Entrance is acceptable. In other words, the developer wanted to construct a block of units that would have been three storeys higher than buildings at The Entrance, and the council thought it was acceptable for Mardi to end up looking like The Entrance. I oppose massive overdevelopment. Out of the 1,200 people who live in the Mardi area, 600 of them, or roughly half the population, said they did not want that development.

    Remarkably but not surprisingly, the same issues arose: people were mainly concerned about the pressure the twin towers development would put on existing infrastructure such as roads, and the increased traffic congestion it would generate. It is the responsibility of authorities to ensure that such problems are avoided by implementing proper planning. I am pleased that the Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration) is present. I hope we will be able to sensibly make our way through this minefield of local environmental plans to achieve a good result for the people who live on the Central Coast. I hope the Minister will raise this matter with her ministerial colleagues the Minister for the Central Coast and the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning.

    Of even greater concern is a letter I received recently from the Wyong Shire Council to which I responded today. It concerns the creation of another local environmental plan for rezoning land to create stage four of the Woodbury Park Estate, and permit additional residential development up to four storeys high in height covering more than 25 per cent of the site. I wrote to the council's general manager, Mr Dawson, stating that genuine community consultation—not an airy-fairy, cosmetic process—should be undertaken to make sure that people are involved in the planning. More importantly, it is the responsibility of authorities to ensure that a holistic approach to planning is adopted in the Wyong electorate because the area is experiencing a great deal of growth. I hope that the council undertakes appropriate community consultation. If the council is unable to see its way clear to do so, I have offered to undertake community consultation, just as I did for the Mardi and Toukley high-rise proposals.

    Ms BEAMER (Mulgoa—Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister for Western Sydney, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration)) [5.57 p.m.]: I thank the honourable member for Wyong for drawing my attention and the attention of the House to the serious issues confronting his electorate. I look forward to meeting the honourable member to discuss the implications of the matters to which he has referred and to drawing these matters to the attention of the Minister for the Central Coast and the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning. Planning for growth areas must be delicately handled to balance the needs of present residents and future population expansion. A great deal of population growth has been accommodated within the urban area of the Sydney Basin, but population increases are extending to areas of rapid growth, such as the Central Coast. I take on board the comments made by the honourable member and I look forward to having fruitful discussions with him.