It's time for a strategy that will be taken seriously
Peninsula Urban Direction Strategy was adopted with great fanfare by Gosford Council in 2005 as the document defining the future development of the Peninsula.
The Strategy has never been rescinded and remains the only council document providing such "direction".
Unfortunately, the Strategy never was and, it seems, never will be unless there are changes.
It was treated as a masterplan when, in fact, it has not been good enough even to be a guide for the besieged resident or the public generally.
It overwhelmingly focuses on development, avoiding essential matters such as climate change, social issues, environmental issues and health issues.
The study acknowledges the Peninsula's "finite" limits, but regards those impediments as simply matters of roads and transport only.
The study is limited to bricks and mortar.
In 2005, public belief in the "character statements" belonged only to the new resident, yet retention of and compliance with this "character" was to be required of the Peninsula's future development.
The finite limits were exceeded with development approvals this year in Ettalong, yet reports on this historic event have not been recognised by the Administrator or planners from any authority.
The Strategy did not advise what action was to be taken when this milestone was reached The standards were meant to be permanent, despite countless population growth plans having been adopted since 2005.
Finite parameters have been exceeded.
This is reflected in the development and use of the Peninsula Leisure Centre, recreational and sports fields being subject to increasing demand and use, and the increasing public objection to proposed developments.
This has been assisted by a secret development assessment process and has resulted in the constant downgrade to residents' lifestyle.
The council has had an on-again off-again attitude to climate change.
There was international concern about climate change in 2005, yet the Peninsula Urban Direction Strategy downplayed this increasingly urgent matter.
It supported more Peninsula development on a coastal sandplain subjected to flooding.
A strategy is only as good as its implementation and enforcement.
There are now many examples of this not occurring on the Peninsula.
A planning strategy for the Peninsula is needed now more than ever, 16 years after the adoption of the Peninsula Urban Directions Strategy.
It's time for the Strategy to be reviewed, to be updated and taken seriously, or be replaced with a genuine new strategy that will be.
Letter, 3 Feb 2021
Norman Harris, Umina