Please use the following guide to shape your own submission to Central Coast Council (CCC) in response to the current Exhibition of the Deferred Matters Lands Planning Proposal. Or, if you want a bit more help with the wording of your submission use this interactive submission template!
Documents consulted in the preparation of this Submission Guide can be found here: https://www.yourvoiceourcoast.com/DeferredLands
The CCC’s Your Voice Our Coast web page also includes instructions about how to make sure your submission reaches Central Coast Council.
Please note the deadline for submissions to be received by Central Coast Council HAS BEEN EXTENDED AND IS NOW no later than 5pm on Wednesday, 15 November 2023.
The views expressed in this submission guide are those of the Community Environment Network (CEN), the Central Coast’s peak environmental organisation. CEN’s mission is to work for Ecologically Sustainable Development and against risks to ESD. We are a not-for-profit and a registered charitable gift recipient.
After undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the documents available on Council’s Your Voice Our Coast website, the CEN has concluded that it does not support the proposed incorporation of the Deferred Lands into the Central Coast Local Environment Plan 2022 (CCLEP 2022). We encourage you to use the following information to prepare you own submission.
KEY ARGUMENTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SUBMISSION
Central Coast Council has argued that the proposed rezoning is “like for like” but this is NOT the case.
Differences in the way the former Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council interpreted and implemented the NSW Standard Instrument have been compounded, not resolved, by the creation of the Central Coast Consolidated Local Environmental Plan 2022 (CCLEP 2022). This has resulted in the proposed rezonings in the exhibited planning proposal NOT being like for like. For example, the Planning Proposal Central Coast Deferred Lands Review of Environmental Zones for the Deferred Lands (page 11) states that 60 land parcels, with a total of 244 ha, that are currently zoned 7(a) Conservation, are recommended to be transferred to C2 Environmental Conservation. The justification for the transfer is that the 60 parcels have no development right for a residential dwelling (adopting the former WSC interpretation of residential dwellings not being permitted in the C2 zone that was carried through to CCLEP 2022).
The remaining 1264 parcels with a total area of 3477 ha will be a mixture of C2 and C3 Environmental Management. Approximately 15% (520 ha) is proposed to be zoned C2 while the majority (85%) of the 7(a) parcels (2,957 ha) are proposed to be zoned C3.
The current minimum lot size is not proposed to be changed but the objectives and permitted land uses in the C3 zone under CCLEP 2022 mean this planning proposal would effectively rezone nearly 3,000 ha of former7(a) Conservation land into C3 which is an expanded 7(c2) zone. It is misleading for Council to be aware that 3,000 ha of former 7(a) Conservation land is to be rezoned to an expanded 7(c2) zone and yet call this process ‘like for like’.
An increase in the number of land uses may increase the monetary value of the land. However, the increase from five to 34 uses changes the character of the zone by allowing more and different types of development. It places more development pressure on the land and reduces the available land left for biodiversity.
No detailed methodology is provided on how CCC split the zoning of C2 and C3 on the same parcel of land, other than its continual referral to Practice Note (PN09-002) and its opinion that the CCLEP 2022 is the ultimate planning instrument.
It is agreed that placing 7(a) deferred lands into C3 under CCLEP is “like for like” regarding subdivision, because Council is proposing a subdivision map restriction overlay which would limit the size of any future subdivision to what was permitted in 7(a). Other lands zoned C3 will have different subdivision provisions.
However, in relation to both the objectives of the zone and the permitted land uses with consent, the zoning of 7(a) deferred lands as C3 is not like for like.
Under IDO 122, 7(a) land had only five uses. Under C3 in CCLEP this explodes to 34 land uses. Some of the expanded list of land uses may not be of concern. However, animal boarding or training establishments are included in C3, and the definition allows the operation of an animal breeding facility. This means an animal breeding facility could be allowed on some of the region’s most sensitive environmental land. CCC would be fully aware of the adverse impacts and loss of amenity already experienced by residents along Ourimbah Creek Rd, Palm Grove, and Kyola Rd, Kulnura, because of this land use.
The expanded list of uses also includes building identification signs and community facilities.
CCLEP 2022 defines community facility as a building or place:
(a) owned or controlled by a public authority or non-profit community organisation, and
(b) used for the physical, social, cultural or intellectual development or welfare of the community,
but does not include an educational establishment, hospital, retail premises, place of public worship or residential accommodation.
This definition could allow the construction of a Regional Performing Arts Centre on land once zoned 7(a) Conservation.
Because Council proposes to rezone 3,000 ha of deferred 7(a) land to C3, it has then proposed to zone the 2,222 ha of 7(c2) deferred lands (over 2,150 parcels of land) as C4 in CCLEP 2022. A subdivision restriction overlay map means this proposed rezoning may be considered “like for like” when it comes to subdivision. Other land zoned C4 may have different subdivision restrictions.
It cannot, however, be said to be “like for like” in relation to the zone objectives or the permitted uses. The zoning objectives for 7(c2) are aimed at promoting ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development and the need for, and value of, biodiversity. These would be replaced in C4 with the objective to provide for low-impact residential development.
Likewise, for permitted uses, land zoned 7(c2) under IDO 122 has 15 permitted uses. The C4 zone in CCLEP 2022 has 34 uses. Some of the additional uses may not be of concern. Others, such as Group Homes and Home Occupation (sex services), are at direct odds with the objectives of 7(c2) land.
The definition of a group home allows for the operation of a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility. The definition of a Home Occupation (sex services) allows the operation of a brothel for two sex service providers if they reside at the property. Areas such as Niagara Park, Lisarow, Holgate, Matcham, Erina Valley, Pickets Valley, Wamberal, Kincumber, Empire Bay, Bensville, Bouddi, Terrigal, Avoca and MacMasters Beaches could see the lodgement of development applications for drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and brothels.
The CCC would be fully aware of the high levels of stress and anxiety experienced by the residents of Glen Rd, Ourimbah, who experiened first-hand the inclusion of a group home in a C4 area.
Even though the subdivision size does not change, it is misleading to imply that the conversion of 7(c2) land to C4 in the CCLEP is “like for like” given the change in objectives and the additional land uses.
This planning proposal will result in the Central Coast region losing biodiversity.
Rather than concurring with the commentary in support of the draft planning proposal – that CCLEP is the ultimate planning instrument – it could be argued that CCLEP, and its implementation, are fundamentally flawed and putting the biodiversity of the Central Coast region at risk.
Some fundamental flaws in the current application of Conservation Zones by Central Coast Council can easily be uncovered by using the CCC’s own mapping systems. Let’s take, for example, the forested hills of the eastern area of Ourimbah and western area of Tumbi Umbi. Most of this area is a combination of C2 and C3 land. Using CCC’s mapping layer for Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) reveals that the EECs do not line up with the C2 zone boundaries. In fact, there is a complete mismatch. When the contour layer on CCC’s mapping system is activated, the C2 boundaries do not match the underlying contours either.
The ecological consequences of this failure to align the boundaries of the C2 zone with the occurrence of the EECs that the zone is supposed to protect can be demonstrated by two current planning case studies where the mismanagement of the C2 zone has jeopardised biodiversity on the Central Coast. We believe these case studies demonstrate that the draft planning proposal currently on exhibition should be rejected until the CCC can demonstrate that it is able to address such misalignments.
Case study 1: Spring Creek Wetland, Thompson Vale Rd, Doyalson
In theory, Endangered Ecological Communities (EECs) and riparian vegetation should both have been protected by the C2 zone on land at Thompson Vale Rd, Doyalson. This land is known to be of high conservation value.
A detailed vegetation map was undertaken by a registered biodiversity consultant in 2018 on the land which was owned at the time by Central Coast Council. The consultant was required to map the different Plant Community Types (PCT) across the site which would have mapped EECs and any distinctive riparian vegetation. Overlaying the consultant’s PCT map with the zoning map reveals a complete mismatch between the boundaries. THE C2 ZONE HAS NOT PROTECTED ALL THE EEC ON THE SITE. The mapping of the C2 has completely missed the protection of observed and potential threatened species dependent upon the habitat across this site.
This site contained four threatened species when it was mapped by the consultant in 2018: Angophora inopina (Charmhaven Apple); Acacia bynoaana (Bynoe’s Wattle); Tetratheca juncea (Black-eyed Susan); Genoplesium insigne (Variable Midge Orchid). The NSW Atlas of threatened species lists a further four: Criniatinnula (Wallum Froglet); Calyptorhynchus lathami (Glossy black cockatoo); Petaurus macropussis (Squirrel Glider); and Pteropus poliocephalus (Grey headed flying fox).
When the consultant mapped the site in 2018 it had been subject to bushfire three weeks prior. The consultant noted that a further 11 threatened species were likely to occur on the site: Myotis macrophus (Southern Myotis); Phascogale tapoatafe (Brush-tailed Phascogale); Haliaeetus leucogaster (White bellied sea eagle); Tyto novaehollandiae (Masked owl); Ninox strenua (Powerful Owl); Ninox connivens (Barking Owl); Cercartetus nanus (Eastern Pygmy Possum); Cryptostylis hunteriana (Leafless tongue-orchid); Corunastylis sp. Charmhaven; Callistemon linearifolius (Netted Bottle Brush); and Diuris praecox (Rough Doubetail).
There are four different PCT across the site, one of which covers 75 per cent of the land and includes the threatened species Angophora inopina (Charmhaven Apple). The C2 zone, according to the Council mapping, covered only 5 per cent of the PCT that included the Charmhaven Apple. That means 70 per cent of the area containing that species was not protected by the C2 zone.
This analysis shows that CCC relying on its online mapping system to identify areas that qualify to be zoned C2 will not achieve the objective to protect, manage and restore areas of high ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic values. Nor is the council’s zoning methodology preventing development that could destroy, damage or otherwise have an adverse effect on our local biodiversity.
Case study 2: St Phillips Christian College Charmhaven
The NSW Department of Planning is currently assessing a State Significant Development (SSD) for a proposed school at Lot 2 DP 809106, Arizona Road, Charmhaven. A portion of the site is zoned C2. However, it appears that the boundaries of the C2 zone do not match those of an EEC on the site. The C2 zone is failing to protect an Endangered Ecological Community.
According to a biodiversity report submitted with the SSD, a riparian corridor that should also be within the boundaries of the C2 zone is not being protected. The report states that the C2 zoned land is located between 20 and 70 metres west of its correct position. This site contains 80 per cent of the global population of the critically endangered ground orchid Corunastylis branwhiteorum. The site has also been identified as containing a population of another ground orchid, Genoplesium insignis, which is listed in both Commonwealth and State biodiversity legislation. NEITHER GROUND ORCHID IS PROTECTED WITHIN THE C2 ZONE. In fact, it appears that both orchids are potentially located under the footprint of the proposed school building.
The C2 zone is not protecting the EEC, riparian corridor, the critically endangered ground orchid or the threatened ground orchid.
The CCLEP relying on information layers within its online mapping system to identify areas within the deferred matters lands that qualify to be zoned C2 may fail to achieve the objective to protect, manage and restore areas of high ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic value. Nor is the zoning approach preventing development that could destroy, damage or otherwise have an adverse effect on our local biodiversity.
The two case studies reveal that the mapping of the high-value conservation land in CCLEP is hit and miss with significant zoning implications. The boundary of a planning zone is not an approximate line. It has strict legal implications under the Environmental Planing and Assessment Act 1979. The approach taken by Council completely ignores the presence of any threatened or endangered flora and fauna located on 7(a) land. It completely ignores the fact that mapped EEC boundaries are based on aerial photo interpretation and not based upon site-specific analysis or ground truthing. In both case studies, each time a site-specific survey was undertaken, the boundary of both the EEC and other features intended to be captured by the C2 zone significantly changed.
Analysis of the C2 zone against Council’s EEC map layer and contour layer indicates that due to parallax error the different information layers are not aligned resulting in a complete mismatch of information. Council should not rely upon this methodology to plot the C2 Zone boundary for an ECC, slope or landscape feature that may be subject to parallax error across the 7(a) Conservation land under IDO 122.
This major fault in the way CCC determines the boundaries of Conservation zones must be addressed before any deferred matters lands are rezoned as either C2, C3 or C4 under CCLEP 2022
This planning proposal will introduce land uses into Conservation Land Zones that are at odds with the conservation values and amenity of those lands.
Permitted land uses in C3, such as animal breeding facilities and community facilities, are at odds with the conservation values that formed the objectives of the former 7(a) land. Likewise, the permitted uses of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities and brothels in the C4 zone do not uphold the objectives of 7(c2) deferred lands.
The draft planning proposal, if adopted, would undermine the planning principles at the heart of the Conservation zones within the NSW Standard Instrument. For example, within the former Gosford City Council local government area, there is a progression of Conservation Zones. C2 lands are often located next to C1 National Parks and Nature Reserves. From a biodiversity and scenic perspective, this progression of zones provides a high level of protection and support to the National Parks and Nature Reserves.
In the former Wyong Shire, C3 Environmental Management land is often adjacent to C1 land. This jump from C1 National Park directly to C3 can weaken and undermine the conservation values of the National Parks and Nature Reserves.
The proposed new zonings do not deal with the Coastal Open Space System (COSS) lands well.
The NSW State Government Biodiversity and Conservation Division in the Department of Planning has informed Central Coast Council that:
“… the new zonings do not adequately or equivalently address environmental matters or deal with COSS land well.”
Although the Department of Planning’s reasons for making this statement were not given, it is true that the draft exhibited planning proposal does not deal with COSS lands well.
The former Gosford city Council managed the Coastal Open Space System (COSS) as a network of reserves supporting native vegetation to achieve environmental and community benefits. At the time of amalgamation, the COSS network was 2,598 ha.
The COSS network is complemented and directly supported by the surrounding 3,721 ha of 7(a) Conservation land.
The current planning proposal has two direct impacts upon the future of COSS.
The COSS consists of land dedicated to Council or purchased by Council at market value. The program is based upon the principle of VOLUNTARY ACQUISTION AT MARKET VALUE. The land that Council has purchased to be included in COSS has been restricted to land that was zoned 7(a).
Each parcel of 7(a) land would have its own value. However, according to real estate industry information, the draft planning proposal could, due to the higher number of permitted land uses, increase the land value in the order of 50%.
This means that the financial practicality of expanding COSS will be severely impacted.
COSS does not sit in isolation from its surroundings. The biodiversity, cultural and aesthetic values contained within the 2,598 ha of COSS, is supported and complemented by the surrounding 3,721 ha of adjacent 7(a) Conservation land. As Council is proposing to rezone 3,000 ha of 7(a) land to the objectives and land use that is currently permitted in the 7(c2), it is isolating COSS.
The protection and expansion of COSS was an ‘incentive’ presented to the people of the Central Coast as one of the benefits for an amalgamated council. Just as we are still waiting for the consultation that would underpin a comprehensive LEP, the idea of protecting and expanding COSS does not appear to be coming to fruition. A unique and precious legacy of the former Gosford City Council could, indeed, be jeopardised if this planning proposal goes ahead.
The mapping of the C2 zone boundary has not addressed the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage values located across the landscape of the vegetated parcels of 7(a) Conservation land under IDO 122.
Council is reminded that the zoning objectives within the SI for C2 zone land are “… to protect, manage and restore areas of high … cultural … value” and “… to prevent development that could destroy, damage ... (or adversely affect) … those values.”
When Aboriginal heritage is examined at a site-specific level it has significant impacts upon the use of the land. Further, as explained in the Somersby Industrial Park Plan of Management, it is not only the immediate location of an Aboriginal site that needs protection but the landscape where the Aboriginal feature is located.
The Somersby Industrial Park Plan of Management resulted in setting aside approximately 8.7 hectares of land zoned E4 General Industrial to protect the cultural heritage. In excess of 2,900 sites are recorded in the Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System (AHIMS) across the former GCC LGA. Until site-specific Aboriginal heritage studies can be undertaken across the entire 3721 ha of 7(a) Conservation land under IDO 122, Council has insufficient information to determine whether an area should be included or excluded within a C2 zone boundary.
The proposed rezoning of the deferred land as presented in Council’s REZ does not promote the principles of Ecological Sustainable Development.
When a council selects to transfer existing zones into the C2 zone under the Standard Instrument, PN 09-002 states that “… councils should, wherever appropriate, retain existing uses that maintain conservation land capabilities.
Central Coast Council directly incorporated permitted land uses from GLEP 2014 and WLEP 2013 into CCLEP 2022. The direct inclusion of the additional uses from Gosford into the current LEP is misguided as the former Gosford City Council had prepared the land uses for C3, not for land zoned 7(a) Conservation, rather it was for land zoned 7(c2).
The inclusion of additional uses of the Animal boarding and training establishments and Veterinary hospitals is inconsistent with PN 09-002 as it is an intensification of land use not aimed at protecting, managing or restoring areas with special ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic values. Nor is it limiting the range of development that does not have an adverse effect on those values.
The inclusion of Animal boarding or training establishments into the C3 zone, subject to consent allows the operation of a dog breeding facility on the most environmental sensitive land.
The proposed rezoning of 7(c2) under IDO 122 into E4 under CCLEP 2022, changes both the zoning objectives and introduces several new permitted land uses that are currently prohibited including Group homes and Home occupations (sex services). This means that areas such as Niagara Park, Lisarow, Holgate, Matcham, Erina Valley, Pickets Valley, Wamberal, Kincumber, Empire Bay, Bensville, Bouddi, Terrigal, Avoca and MacMasters Beaches could see the lodgement of development applications for both Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Facilities along with brothels.
All 7(a) Conservation land under IDO 122 be rezoned to E2 Environmental Conservation.
Only those parcels of land zoned 7(a) Conservation land under IDO 122 that have an existing residential dwelling be included within the Development Opportunity Map in accordance with Clause 7.21 of CCLEP 2022.
All 7(c2) Scenic Protection – Rural Small Holdings under IDO 122 be rezoned to E3 Environmental Management.
Council apply for a Gateway Approval to re-evaluate all the existing C2 boundaries across the former WSC to adjust for parallax error along with the inclusion of Aboriginal Cultural sites or zones, threatened species and the habitat of threatened species.
APPENDIX: BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The following historical information is intended to provide context to the facts outlined in the above Submission Guide.
The reasons why this planning proposal would fail to deliver ecologically sustainable outcomes date back to 2006 when the ‘Standard Instrument’ was introduced across New South Wales and all local governments had to adopt standard zonings with standard objectives and land uses via Local Environmental Plans (LEPs).
Looking back at the planning documents used by the former Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council prior to the introduction of the Standard Instrument, both aimed to limit the scale of development to protect, preserve and maintain the conservation and scenic values on private land BUT the former councils went about things very differently.
The former Gosford City Council had two key LEPs called the Gosford Planning Scheme Ordinance (GPSO) and Interim Development Order No 122 (IDO 122). Wyong Shire Council had one major LEP called Wyong Local Environmental Plan 1991 (WLEP 1991).
Gosford’s IDO 122 had nine conservation zones: 7(a), 7(b), 7(c2), 7(c3), 7(c4), 7(c5), 7(c6), 7(d) and 7(e). WLEP 1991 had seven conservation zones consisting of 7(a), 7(b), 7(c), 7(d), 7(e), 7(f), and 7(g). Some of the zone names were different. For example, zone 7(c4) Scenic Protection – Mangrove Creek, under IDO 122, dealt with very steep land along the Hawkesbury River compared to the zone 7(g) Wetlands Management under WLEP 1991, which dealt with flat wetlands. The objectives and permitted land uses in the zones with those different names were different. Even zones with the same names had different objectives and permitted land uses.
Both former councils found it challenging to allocate their old zones into the new state-wide “standard” conservation zones called C1 National Parks and Nature Reserves, C2 Environmental Conservation, C3 Environmental Management and C4 Environmental Living.
According to a Practice Note issued in 2009 (PN09-002), C1 could only be used for National Parks and Nature Reserves. There were no mandatory permitted uses in the C2 Environmental Conservation zone and Councils were advised to choose uses to protect the high conservation value of land. The inclusion of bed and breakfast accommodation and farm stay accommodation as additional uses indicated that C2 zone could be applied to a variety of restricted private uses. The number of additional uses expanded from seven in C2 land to 14 in C3. In the C3 Environmental Management zone, Dwelling houses were a mandatory permitted use. In the C4 Environmental Living zone dwelling houses were again a mandatory permitted use. Other suitable uses included: bed and breakfast accommodation; building identification signs and business; identification signs; caravan park; community facility; dwelling house; eco-tourism; environmental facility; home business, home industry and home- based childcare; information and education facility; kiosk; recreation area; secondary dwellings, e.g., attached to the principal dwelling; tourist and visitor accommodation.
An analysis of the transition from the 7(a) zone under the former Gosford City Council’s IDO 122 to the C2 Zone in the Gosford LEP 2014 shows that similar objectives and similar uses were contained in the former zone and the new equivalent zone. For example, the objective to “rehabilitate and restore areas of high ecological and environmental value and the prohibition of development or the prevention of development in areas of high ecological or scenic value” were carried across from IDO 122 to C2. Similar uses were also permitted with consent such as bed and breakfast accommodation and dwelling houses. In other words, the rezoning of 7(a) under IDO 122 to C2 under GLEP 2014 was like for like.
The same can be said for the objectives and permitted land uses for the conversion of the 7(c2) Conservation and Scenic Protection (rural small holdings) zone into C3 Environmental Management in the GLEP 2014. For example, one objective was to provide a buffer between conservation areas and urban areas. Similar uses were permitted with consent – bed and breakfast accommodation and dwelling houses.
And again, when Gosford City Council transitioned from IDO 122 to GLEP 2014, the rezoning of 7(c3) Conservation and Scenic Protection (Tourist Accommodation) to C4 Environmental Living was like for like. (Note, none of the 7(c3) zoned land was deferred. It was all converted to C4 so it is not part of the current draft planning proposal).
The interpretation and implementation of the Standard Instrument by the former Wyong Shire Council was different to that implemented by the former Gosford City Council. WSC had to rezone its 7(g) Wetland Management zone, which did not exist in Gosford’s IDO 122. WSC decided to isolate the new C2 zone exclusively for 7(g) under WLEP 2013. That meant 7(a) under WLEP was placed into C3 Environmental Management under WLEP 2013. THIS HAD SIGNIFICANT IMPLICATIONS. The objectives remained similar but the number of permitted uses jumped from 12 to 31.
The two different approaches had a flow-on effect for the common-named conservation zones. In Gosford’s case the rezoned 7(b) zone land was rezoned to C2 whereas in Wyong the 7(b) was rezoned either C3 or C4. In Gosford’s case, the rezoned 7(c2) was deferred while in Wyong 7(c) was rezoned to C4. In Gosford’s case 7(c3) was rezoned to C4 which was the same as Wyong zoning 7(c) to C4. In Gosford’s case 7(c4), 7(c5) and 7(c6) were all rezoned C2. Wyong did not have these zones.
Comparing the two approaches for C2, Gosford allowed Bed and breakfast accommodation; Dwelling houses; and Home occupations.
In Wyong these uses in C2 were excluded.
An analysis of uses permitted by other councils within the C2 zone indicated that the approach of including dwellings in the C2 zone was taken up by Lake Macquarie City, the City of Newcastle, Port Stevens, Cessnock, Shoalhaven and the Blue Mountains. So the Wyong Shire Council approach appears to have been the outlier.
The reason for the different approach taken by the two former councils was probably due to the different landscape of the underlying geology between Gosford and Wyong, resulting in different settlement patterns. Two case studies from the former Gosford City Council illustrate this difference.
The first is Bar Point where over 52 lots had average dimensions of 20 x 250 metres and a further 120 small lots were an average of 16 x 36 metres. The majority of the 173 lots had residential dwellings. The land was zoned conservation under IDO 122. The contours start at sea level and go up to 230 metres. The 53 larger lots had an elevation starting from sea level and going up to 200 AHD, which includes vertical cliffs. All 173 lots retained native vegetation. To maintain both the biodiversity value of the escarpment vegetation and the high scenic quality with the presence of multiple existing dwelling adjacent to Hawkesbury River, the former GCC included private dwelling in the C2 zone as reflected in GLEP 2014. Due to the high biodiversity and scenic values the number of permitted uses on each allotment needed to be restricted. Dwelling houses were restricted to being adjacent to the Hawkesbury River.
The second case study is Erina where multiple allotments were located along the floodplain of Erina Creek. Approximately 70 lots were zoned flood liable but retained significant areas of native riparian vegetation. To restrict development in the floodway and flood storage of Erina and, at the same time, retain those areas of native riparian vegetation, approximately 70 lots were zoned C2. To maintain both the biodiversity value of the riparian vegetation, the flood way and flood storage capacity of Erina Creek plus acknowledge a number of existing dwellings scattered across the floodplain, the former GCC included private dwelling in the C2 zone as reflected in GLEP 2014. Due to the high biodiversity and flooding impacts, the number of permitted uses on each individual allotment needed to be restricted.
The former Gosford City Council had multiple conservation zones under IDO 122 that had multiple dwellings in highly sensitive environmental areas from steep visual escarpment to floodways’ that contained significant natural vegetation. To ensure the biodiversity, scenic and flood impacts were addressed in locations where there were existing dwellings, there was a compelling need to limit the number of permitted land uses. To address this planning dilemma, the former Gosford City Council used the C2 zone.
WHY WERE LANDS DEFERRED FROM THE GLEP 2014?
Information published by Central Coast Council (page 4, Review of Environmental Zones) in support of the currently exhibited planning proposal gave no explanation of why the lands were deferred in the first instance in 2014. This omission did not provide the community with sufficient information to make an informed comment on the currently exhibited planning proposal.
The deferred matters lands were not rezoned in GLEP 2014 for two reasons:
- Local MPs and the Department of Planning supported the introduction of a new Conservation Zone to protect the Coastal Open Space System (COSS). The Department needed time to go through the process of introducing a new zone.
- Landowners whose land was zoned 7(c2) or 7(c3) were given the opportunity to subdivide their land in accordance with existing rules.
Consequently, the former Gosford City Council deferred the rezoning of COSS 7(a) land east of the M1 Motorway along with 7(c2) in 2014.
WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE SINCE 2014?
The Central Coast Council in 2022 merged the GLEP 2014 with WLEP 2013 to create the CCLEP 2022 but did not resolve the problem of how to zone the deferred matters lands.
CCLEP was supposed to be an interim measure until the Central Coast Council set about developing a brand new Comprehensive Local Environmental Plan, which would have involved extensive community consultation and could have ironed out the discrepancies and disharmony caused by the different approaches taken by the former councils.
Seven years after amalgamation there is no mention of any move away from the Consolidate LEP to a Comprehensive LEP.
The bringing together of the two different implementations of the Standard Instrument was like trying to mix oil and water with potentially catastrophic consequences.
C2 in GLEP and WLEP -V- C2 in CCLEP
This goes back to the incompatibilities between WLEP and GLEP because the former WSC had exclusively used C2 for 7(g) under WLEP 2013 whereas the former GCC had multiple conservation zones in IDO 122 which allowed dwellings and, thus, in 2014 used the C2 zone for such areas and uses.
When it came to creating the CCLEP there was a conflict on whether to include or exclude Bed and breakfast accommodation; Dwelling houses and Home occupations.
CCC resolved the conflict by excluding Bed and breakfast accommodation, Dwelling houses; and Home occupations from the permitted uses for the C2 Zone in CCLEP 2022. The exclusion meant CCC had to introduce a Dwelling Opportunities Map in CCLEP to ‘fit’ uses that had been allowed in C2 in GLEP 2014.
As a result, a total of 52,000 hectares covering an estimated 8,000 lots are zoned C2 under CCLEP 2022 with the enabling clause to allow bed and breakfast accommodation, dwelling houses and home occupation.
C3 in GLEP and WLEP -V- C3 in CCLEP 2022
CCLEP 2022 kept only two objectives from GLEP 2014 and deleted another three objectives. For example, CCLEP 2022 no longer has the objective “to promote ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development and the need for, and value of, biodiversity”. The second dropped objective was “to ensure that development is compatible with the desired future character of the zone”. The third was “to highlight the importance of providing an environmental buffer to areas of high ecological, scientific, cultural and aesthetic value.” The latter was replaced with a new objective: “to provide a buffer to land of high ecological value or land that has environmental constraints or hazards”.
It is a travesty of sound planning that the CCC has abandoned the zoning objective to promote ecologically, social and economically sustainable development and the need for and value of biodiversity.
The permitted C3 uses in CCLEP 2022 are a direct incorporation of permitted land uses from GLEP 2014 and WLEP 2013. However, the direct inclusion of the additional uses from Gosford into the CCLEP was misguided as the former GCC had, in 2014, prepared the land uses for C3 not for land zoned 7(a) Conservation but for land zoned 7(c2).
The inclusion of Animal boarding and training establishments and Veterinary hospitals as additional uses was inconsistent with PN 09-002 as they are an intensification of land use not aimed at protecting, managing or restoring areas with special ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic values.
C4 in GLEP and WLEP -V- C4 in CCLEP 2022
Again, only two objectives were kept from the GLEP. CCC dropped: “to promote ecologically, socially and economically sustainable development and the need for, and value of, biodiversity”; “to provide land for low-impact tourist-related development that is of a scale that is compatible with the special ecological, scientific or aesthetic values of the area”; and “to ensure development is compatible with the desired future character of the zone”.
It is a travesty of sound planning that the CCC has abandoned the zoning objective to promote ecologically, social and economically sustainable development and the need for and value to biodiversity.
Several permitted uses in the former GLEP 2014 have been deleted such as registered clubs, restaurants or cafes, tourist and visitor accommodation.
C3 -V- C4 in CCLEP 2022
A comparison of permitted land uses under the CCLEP in the C3 Zone as opposed to the C4 zone shows that:
- 28 land uses permitted with consent are common in both C3 and C4.
- 5 uses are restricted to C3.
- 6 uses are restricted to C4.
This document is a summary of a presentation made at a public information session on Monday, 23 October 2023. You can see the whole PowerPoint presentation here: Deferred Lands Presentation 23 October 2023 - Version 4.pptx