Council to proceed with Austin Butler reclassification
Central Coast Council has decided to proceed immediately with reclassification of the Austin Butler reserve.
A planning proposal is expected to be put before the Local Planning Panel in a matter of days.
It is not usual practice to reveal the contents of a planning proposal before it is considered by the panel and it is unknown what the proposal will contain.
However, council documents accompanying the council agenda item referred to facilitating a "shopping centre update" of Peninsula Plaza.
Recent planning proposals for the Ettalong foreshore and for Macleay Ave, Woy Woy, have included details of the developments proposed for the rezoned land.
Once approved by the Panel, the proposal will go to the September council meeting to be forwarded to the Department of Planning for approval through a "gateway process".
It is only after this that the community will be consulted and a final decision made.
It is rare for a council to reject a planning proposal at this point, having already chosen to be the advocate for it in applying to the Department of Planning.
The matter is not expected to be listed in the Planning Panel agenda, but its decision will be recorded in minutes of the meeting afterwards.
The community is unlikely to be given the opportunity to address the Panel about the proposal.
The decision to proceed with the reclassification of Austin Butler reserve was made in a "bulk reclassification" decision for 11 lots of at the council meeting of Tuesday, August 22.
Council Administrator Mr Rik Hart, responding to resident emails, amended the recommendation to also "seek community feedback ... as part of the consultation process" about retaining the site in council ownership or putting the proceeds of the sale "to the greening of the local community".
A staff report to council stated: "The next step is the preparation of a Planning Proposal under the provisions of Part 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
"The Planning Proposal must be considered by the Local Planning Panel and referred to the Department of Planning and Environment for a Gateway Determination.
"It is proposed that Council consider a recommendation to refer the lots identified in this report for Gateway Determination at its September 2023 meeting.
"Should Gateway approval be granted, a Planning Proposal to reclassify public land must be publicly exhibited for at least 28 days."
A statement issued to Peninsula News on behalf of Council chief executive Mr David Farmer said that reclassification and the sale of the land would be treated separately.
"It is intended that a bulk reclassification of the 11 parcels identified in the Council report would be commenced, with the first step being referral of the reclassification planning proposal to the Local Planning Panel followed by a Council resolution to refer it to the Department of Planning and Environment for Gateway Determination," he said.
"Should the Department issue a Gateway Determination to proceed with the planning proposal, consultation would follow.
"The consultation process will inform the Department's decision about whether to reclassify some, all or none of the parcels.
"The Administrator's amendment to the staff recommendation at the August 22 Council meeting means that there will also be consultation on the question about whether the land at Austin Butler Access should be retained or sold with proceeds invested in a greening program.
"Council officers have not yet worked through the detail of the consultation processes required by Council's resolution of August 22, but it is intended that they will be undertaken concurrently rather than sequentially."
Central Coast Council agenda 2.5, 22 Aug 2023