Peninsula needs its own planning framework
There is, of course, no harm in having a planning workshop on the Peninsula ("Workshop likely on peninsula planning", PN 534), following on the similar workshop in West Gosford last month.
However, it would be naive to imagine that any ideas put forward at such a workshop would have any impact on the provisions of the 2041 Regional Plan which will be altered little, if at all, by any discussions now taking place.
At the moment, the references to the Peninsula in the draft plan are so vague as to be essentially meaningless, being largely repetitions of previous statements that have been obviously ineffective in the past, giving us no reason to suppose that the situation will be any different in the future.
What can any one make of a statement that "increased housing choices will be focused close to public transport and need to consider traffic impacts": perhaps, amongst the grammatical confusion, there is actually an idea buried in the verbiage, but I'm sure nobody could explain what it is.
It is obvious from the comments of Mr Farmer that his idea of consultations is not for Council to ascertain the wishes of the community but for the community to be persuaded of the superiority of the Council's ideas that have already been decided on and only require the changing of public attitude to be carried forward.
I do not discount the possibility that the Council's ideas are the best (although it isn't hard to understand widespread scepticism on this point, given the abysmal level of performance to date), but the persuasion will need to be far more convincing than the platitudinous blather we have heard so far.
Truly, if I read "lifestyle and vibrancy" one more time, I doubt I shall be able to prevent myself from throwing up.
It is, also, easy to say that the 2036 Plan didn't contribute to one positive result on the Peninsula and didn't ameliorate one negative result amongst all that we have suffered, so why should we bother with this process, and it would be hard to argue with the position. However, allowing the 2041 Plan to pass unchecked is only to invite more draconian intrusions in the 2046 Plan.
Futile as the effort might seem, the writers of these plans (assuming they aren't just churned out by random word generators) have to be challenged to justify their proposals, to produce evidence to substantiate their conclusions and to demonstrate that the implementation methods put forward have some slight chance of working.
There is no convincing support in the Plan for any of these conditions, so these are the grounds on which the Plan can be opposed.
However, it would be fatal to fall into the all-too-easy course of just piling up vague or picayune objections that can be dismissed as merely narrow-visioned parochialism, so any review of a plan for the Peninsula needs a logical framework of its own.
I hope that somebody will put together such a framework, before any February workshop: otherwise, the whole exercise will be a waste of time.
Email, 6 Jan 2022
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy.