10 January 2022
The Central Coast Friends of Democracy (CCFoD) and Central Coast Community Better Planning Group (CCCBPG) has slammed the NSW Government for a Draft Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 that looks to have been written by developers for developers and to benefit developers.
“Not only does the draft plan look to allow unlimited development and growth at the expense of local communities and the environment, it has also been released for public comment just before Christmas when residents and community groups take a well earned break”, said Jane Smith, CCFoD Director.
The Regional Plan is a 20 year land use plan that is required to be prepared for each region.
The NSW Planning website stated that during 2021 they have been undertaking a review of the current Regional Plan “to extend its reach to 2041 and to reset priorities”. It also indicated that throughout 2021 they had “consulted widely with a broad range of stakeholders”.
However, when asked, NSW Planning confirmed that the “broad range of stakeholders” were largely State agencies and groups representing the interests of developers.
“The secrecy and lack of due process around the writing of this draft Regional Plan raises many questions” said Ms. Smith. “We are calling on the NSW Government to release the details of how this draft plan was developed – including minutes of stakeholder meetings and who attended.”
Gary Chestnut, Chair of the Central Coast Community Better Planning Group said “there is a distinct lack of trust in the NSW government’s intentions in this plan. The current Central Coast Regional Plan that was developed in 2016 involved a number of community workshops leading up to the draft being released, including with youth”.
“This document has been written with the strong influence of the development industry, released for community comment just before Christmas and has no face to face community workshops scheduled. Our community needs to be driving the 20 year vision for our region – not developers and vested interests.”
Following on from a Community Forum on Planning in December, the Friends of Democracy and Better Planning Group are joining together to work with local communities about future planning for their area and the Central Coast.
“We are inviting local resident groups, community organisations and informal neigbourhood groups to contact us to organise a 2 hour workshop about what is being proposed, their local community priorities and how to have your say”, said Mr. Chestnut.
But time is running out. Comments on the developers’ Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 close on Friday 4 March 2022.