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Council has created new 'character' that is an eyesore

The long-suffering residents who care about the future "design" of the Peninsula will be shaking their heads in despair at this latest development ("Character statement may be developed for Council ward", Peninsula News, 30 March 2020).

Apart from the vague and meaningless term "character" and its strength at law, long-suffering residents will know that we already have character statements for the Peninsula.

These were prepared after enormous involvement by the community in their formulation.

Dozens of the suffering residents devoted hours at meetings and at home writing submissions; their enthusiasm boundless.

To my knowledge these statements have never been retracted by council.

Alas, while they were adopted, they have not been given any weight in Council decision-making.

They are just papers clogging up the filing system, tributes to councils' ability to engage the community and completely ignore the wishes of the same.

In the 15 years since these statements were developed, Gosford Council at every opportunity based every decision on the whims of the property developer.

Councils Development Control Plans were stretched and pushed to the limits; variations allowed that changed heights widths, scale and shape way beyond the scope of the adopted plans.

Today we have some of the worst deviation from the intent of the character statement development control plan (DCP 159).

By allowing such deviations, Council has created a new "character" that is an eyesore and abomination; a blot on the Peninsula landscape.

My latest favourite is the little set of "units" several lots west of the Bourke Rd store in a single-storey neighbourhood.

Where I live was called "Riverside bungalows" in DCP 159. Now it's creekside McMansions or Creekside granny flats.

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