Trees and cool open space are of more public benefit
The recent council agenda item exposed the plan for Peninsula Plaza to purchase a section of Lot 1 in the Austin Butler access road, Woy Woy, before the public had been consulted.
This land has been zoned for recreation for over 50 years, but now Council wants to do a deal with the plaza and sell it off to them for parking.
It is incredible to believe this can be proposed for a functional parcel of land which used to have playground equipment and tables and chairs until the council removed them, has over 30 mature original stand melaleucas which is a food source for bats and is frequented by a myriad of urban fauna enjoyed by many.
In the council report, the council officers stated: "Given the proposed development by the plaza, the current zoning of the land does not support the upgrade to the plaza."
However, as the land is heavily flood affected, it is unlikely that the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Land would support a rezoning of the land.
As such, it may be possible that the Plaza could seek an amendment to the Gosford Local Environment Plan for the land to be included as an Additional Permitted Use to facilitate this ancillary use".
To achieve this, the plaza would need to demonstrate that there is substantial public benefit associated with the amendment to allow the change, which included providing a pathway that already exists and "beautifying" the flood channel.
The existing 30 mature trees and cool open space are more of an environmental and public benefit then a dodgy benefit for taking this parcel of land under the guise of job security.
Email, 29 Apr 2021
Mark Ellis, Woy Woy