We need sharply-focussed and sophisticated plans
?, PN, November 13, 2017) echoes my own letter of October 16 in which I commended Mayor Smith's comment that the future of the Peninsula required "thought" and suggested how that thought might be fleshed out.
However, Mayor Smith's "thought" for the Peninsula doesn't seem to have gone any further than that one paragraph in the newspaper, and we are still being faced with proposals, such as the Sporties project, that have no rational framework for assessment.
Mayor Smith has to do more than just think (vide the Kangy Angy catastrophe and the Gosford CBD snafu) to get Central Coast development on track and to justify her full-time salary.
We expect more than weekly anodyne paragraphs in the local throw-away for our money, but what evidence is there that the Council has taken a single active step towards resolving the crucial issues facing the region?
Much is being made of the upcoming Community Strategic Plan, as it makes its way through the turgid waters of the preparation process.
However, both Gosford and Wyong had a Community Strategic Plan, and what concrete results have we seen emerging from these plans?
My hope is that the independently-produced Community Plan for the Central Coast (CPCC) can be given a more action-oriented format and used as a template for policy identification at the next Council election.
However, this will still not provide the detailed technical structure required for day-to-day management of housing/infrastructure/environmental co-ordination in specific neighbourhoods: these structure plans require comprehensive studies (not evident in the Gosford CBD planning now supposedly underway) and analysis in their preparation.
The pathetic lack of factual underpinning for the so-called Regional Plan underlines the weakness of the instruments on which we currently rely.
We don't need bigger plans: the Gosford Development Control Plan alone runs to 123 pages, and what good has that done us?
We need sharply-focussed and sophisticated plans that we can rely on over a reasonable period of time, not cumbersome documents that invite frequent spot rezoning and variations with no long-term goal.
It would be even better if the Council took an active development role, instead of sitting passively by and merely reacting to initiatives from outside parties, but that is probably asking too much of the limited imagination of our councillors.
Email, 17 Nov 2017
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy