Mehrtens asks: Is development leading to lower quality?
Gosford West Ward councillor Richard Mehrtens has questioned whether "maximising sellable space is more important than liveability to some groups" and whether this was leading to lower building quality and standards.
"As with so many things in life, we are in a race to the bottom for price of developments but that sometimes means a race to the bottom in quality," he said.
He said the Opal Tower building failure at Olympic Park highlighted the use of private certifiers.
"Private certifiers sell themselves as quick and streamlined compared to waiting on an assessment from council staff, but this is where the concerns begin.
"There is little accountability of private certifiers and this makes people nervous about where they turn if something goes wrong with a building."
He said the Peninsula was not immune from complaints about private certifiers.
He said it was a regular concern raised with him.
With the level of development occurring on the Peninsula, he said locals had a right to question what was happening next door.
"Communities need to be assured that the buildings in their neighbourhood reflect best practice, are safe and actually meet the designs that were exhibited and approved by council staff during the development approval process," Cr Mehrtens said
"I hear regularly from residents about developments they feel are being ticked off by certifiers that don't meet the landscaping plans, or don't match the building design or scale advertised.
"Unfortunately, it will likely fall onto to councils to clean up the damage if a private certifier ticks off something that doesn't meet standards."
Cr Mehrtens said the community deserved better.
"I think greater thought and consideration needs to be given by developers to the quality of life of the residents of new developments and neighbouring properties."
Media release, Dec 10
Richard Mehrtens, Central Coast Council