Council plans to sell Peninsula land
Central Coast Council plans to sell six parcels of land on the Peninsula "to assist with its financial position".
The land includes the Bullion St carpark in Umina and land occupied by a residential land lease "lifestyle village" in Fassifern St, Ettalong.
It also includes three blocks in residential areas: 23-23A Memorial Ave, Blackwall; 83-85 Brisbane Ave, Umina; and 7-9 Angler St, Woy Woy.
Two of the three sites contain established shade and habitat trees.
A treed area of one acre adjacent to Peninsula Plaza in Austin Butler reserve is also listed, which the shopping centre owner has offered to purchase.
The land parcels were part of a third "tranche" of land sales across the region.
Council staff recommended that the land be sold at the April 27 council meeting, without advertising or community consultation.
However, council administrator Mr Dick Persson decided to advertise the proposal after a protest organised by the Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation was held in front of the Wyong Council chambers.
Branch president Mr Mark Ellis of Woy Woy said the rally was organised to protest the haste and lack of transparency in selling off these and other community lands and assets.
He said the land on the Peninsula had more than 80 trees and included land that the community fought to protect in 2015.
"The loss of these lands and the trees would only add to the urban heat island effect, with the Peninsula already recognised as being the hottest on Coast."
He said the pocket parks needed to be retained to provide food and habitat for vulnerable local native species, such as the grey-headed flying fox, and for future generations of residents in an increasingly-crowded area zoned for medium-density development.
Mr Ellis said the Peninsula was already suffering loss of tree cover, habitat and open space due to the Council's planning policies.
"They are creating harsh, hot and uncomfortable neighbourhoods that are unpleasant, unattractive and becoming unliveable.
"They are a recipe for social problems in the longer term and are quickly creating an environment that unsuitable for raising children."
Mr Ellis said that, while the Administrator criticised some protesters for not having constructive suggestions, the council itself had no positive plans for the Peninsula.
He said the council should prepare a master plan for the future of the Peninsula in consultation with the community before it sells assets.
It should actively engage with the Peninsula community to discuss which assets and services the community wants to retain and which it is willing to relinquish, he said.
For example, the community may well prefer the council sold the Peninsula Leisure Centre than selling the pocket parks, he said.
Mr Persson resolved at the council meeting that the proposed sales "be deferred to allow for the conduct of community consultation for a period of not less than 21 days, with a further report to be provided to Council to consider submissions made during the exhibition period".
Submissions will be accepted until 5pm on Friday, May 21.
Central Coast Council agenda 4.10, 4.11, 4.12, 27 Apr 2021