Pearl Beach group claims planning provisions 'ignored'
The Pearl Beach Environment Group has written to Central Coast Council administrator Mr Rik Hart seeking a meeting with him and senior staff to discuss the "loss of the bushland environment in Pearl Beach".
The group said it "remained concerned that there is an accelerated loss of the special bushland environment of Pearl Beach both through development applications and through the incremental effects of "Exempt and Complying Development".
The group claimed that planning provisions that were meant to protect the area were being ignored.
"Increasingly we find the carefully worded provisions to meet these stated objectives in the Gosford LEP 2014 as it applies to low density residential development and the Sections of the Gosford DCP 2013 as they apply to development in Pearl Beach are being ignored."
The group said this particularly applied "to provision of open space and landscaping in character with the special environment of Pearl Beach".
The group quoted relevant objectives of the Gosford LEP, and section 5.10 of the DCP which pertained to Pearl Beach.
The letter told Mr Hart that the introduction to the section stated: "Pearl Beach has a special character.
"It has widely recognised scenic beauty: the beach itself, the headlands, the view of Broken Bay, the surrounding hills of Brisbane Water National Park.
"The distinctive asset of Pearl Beach is its natural environment.
"Within the village is an abundance of trees and shrubs - in the reserves, in the streets and on the private properties, and softening the visual impact of structures on the natural environment.
"It also has a profusion of bird life within the village.
"The overall effect is one of natural beauty.
"The tree canopy is the intrinsic unifying feature of the area and it is critical that it be maintained."
The group wrote that section 5.10 of the DCP was "put together following extensive consultation with the community of Pearl Beach".
"The Pearl Beach community raised money to fund the Pearl Beach Management Plan in 1989 which informed the DCP."
The group gave four examples that were at odds with the objectives of the planning provisions.
A current application sought "to remove many trees on site at 19 Cornelian Rd, Pearl Beach, despite there being ample room on the site to position the new dwelling to avoid tree removal".
"The removal of all the trees from the site of 23 Cornelian Rd and the construction of two substantial dwellings" was "a lesson in the dangers of incremental approvals through a combination of Exempt and Complying and Development Applications".
"The over development of the site at 12 Diamond Rd and the provision of extensive hard landscaping to the front of the property" was "completely at odds with the streetscape character".
Another example was "the overdevelopment of 6 Gem Road and the excessive height of that development and its impact on views from Broken Bay; the beachfront and from Green Point".
"These are just some of the developments impacting on the special character of our small village.
"The Pearl Beach community is also concerned that there is no forward planning for the remedial works to the Pearl Beach Lagoon as recommended in the Lagoon Study of 2020 are not being implemented."
The Pearl Beach Environment Group described itself as a not-for-profit incorporated organisation whose objective was to "protect and enhance the environment and encourage nature conservation within the village of Pearl Beach".
"Representatives of the Pearl Beach Environment Group would welcome the opportunity to meet with you as the Administrator of Central Coast Council, together with key senior members of the Central Coast Council staff to discuss these concerns."
Media release, 5 Oct 2021
Mary Knaggs, Pearl Beach Environment Group