West St development attracts 40 submissions
The Peninsula community's push back against over-development continues with more than 40 submissions lodged against a $7.59 million mixed-use development on the corner of Morris and West St, Umina.
The development application was expected to go before the December 10 meeting of Central Coast Council but did not make it onto the agenda.
It may now be referred to the Council meeting to be held at Wyong on Monday, January 29.
Project consultant Mr Matthew Wales said the proposed building with basement parking, ground level retail and commercial floor space, and 23 residential apartments above was a "landmark" proposal for Umina and the first based on the development controls adopted by the former Gosford Council in 2014.
"I will be looking with interest as to who on Council is indicating their support for the project," Mr Wales said.
"The development application complies and has been recommended for approval," he said.
"If it is knocked back, it will say this Council is not interested in developing town centres," he said.
Although Mr Wales contended that the development complied with all current development controls, a late submission from Mr Chris Oliver, principal consultant with Optima Developments argues why the developer should be exempt from current planning controls.
"It is apparent that the applicant has no alternative but to go down this statutory pathway due to the current outdated and antiquated planning controls applicable to the site and Umina town centre," Mr Oliver's submission said.
His rationale for the need to deviate from current planning controls dates back to 2005.
"Following extensive review as part of the Centres Strategy for the Gosford Local Government Area, a Peninsula Urban Development Strategy (PUDS) was prepared and underwent a public consultation in 2005," he said.
"This document provided the foundation for a centre's hierarchy for the Peninsula."
According to Mr Oliver's submission, the strategy identified the commercial centre of Umina as providing the greatest opportunity for "a mixed use expansion and intensification".
Following the adoption of the Gosford LEP in 2014, Council resolved to rezone two parcels of land for additional parking within the Umina town centre.
However, the proposed site contained a villa so the additional parking was never developed.
He said there was no current plan for alternate car parking or to develop multi-storey car parking on the existing parking land as detailed in the "still currently adopted" Masterplan for Umina.
"Surely this document must now be considered redundant and in need or urgent review," the submission said.
The 2014 Gosford LEP also included an expansion of the Umina CBD and zone changes from residential to business core, according to the submission.
It also provided development incentives for urban renewal in Ettalong even though Umina was seen as the most viable location for renewal.
"One must now appreciate that it is appropriate that the foundations for the PUDS must now be in need or review," Mr Oliver said.
He said Umina had now been accepted as the "true town centre of the Peninsula" where operators wanted to be.
He said he believed the Peninsula had been left behind by the Council amalgamation and drawn-out process of replacing the Gosford LEP with, initially a consolidated LEP (currently on exhibition) and then a brand new Comprehensive LEP, not likely to even be commenced until 2020.
"The Peninsula becomes the forgotten poor cousin of the Coast, with further outdated controls for a further few years and any review is unlikely to be finalised until after 2020," he said.
DA52563/2017, 10 Dec 2018
Gosford DA Tracker, Central Coast Council
Interview, 10 Dec 2018