Community groups disappointed by lack of notification regarding public hearings to sell off community reserves, parks and reserves
Save Central Coast Reserves has recently discovered “by accident” that the Central Coast Council has set the date for the first Public Hearing for their planned reclassification and sell-off of community reserves, parks and reserves. Although many groups have been actively engaging with the former Gosford Council about their concerns on this matter, there appears to have been no effort to advise those groups of the upcoming public hearings.
“It was only because I was dealing with Council on another matter that I became aware that the date has been set for the public hearing”, said Sue Chidgey from Save Central Coast Reserves. “Although we are sure that Council has met their requirements in terms of notification about the public meetings, it is disappointing that there was no communication with those groups that have been actively trying to engage with Council on this matter.”
“Council has not been transparent throughout the whole Land Sale ‘Strategy’ process. It took nearly 9 months to get the Council to list the sites on their website. In addition, Council refused to provide the Terms of Reference for the ‘independent’ consultant,” said Sue.
The first Public Hearing will be held on July 6, 2016 with two time slots available, 12-2pm and 4-6pm, and will deal with 10 of the 25 threatened sites.
“We understand that no time is going to suit everybody, however, Council seems to want to make this process as difficult as possible for the community to have a voice. With many commuters and families with young children on the Central Coast, both these timeslots are difficult for many people to attend. We are calling on the Council to schedule the Public Hearing to allow one daytime meeting and one meeting in the evening when more people are likely to be able to participate”, said Sue.
Jane Smith, from the Community Environment Network, has voiced concern that many communities still do not know that their urban reserve, park or green space is threatened with reclassification and sell-off.
“Many of these reserves and areas of open space are important for environmental and social reasons. It’s important that local neighbourhoods know now what Council is intending to do so that they can provide input into how these spaces are valued by local communities. We are disappointed that Council has not been more proactive in talking to local neighbourhoods and stakeholders directly”, said Jane Smith.
“Gosford Council has been unwilling to provide any details of what assessment has been undertaken to date in identifying the lots that they want to sell. It almost appears as if they just looked at a map and decided which parcels might bring in the most money – without adequate consideration of the local community’s needs or the environmental values,” said Jane. “They have also been unwilling to disclose the history of how these lots came into public ownership. We are hopeful that the public hearings will at least fill in some of these gaps in information and put on the table what process the Council has followed so far”.
Those sites listed for the Public Hearing on 6 July are:-
- 79A Kalakau Avenue, LOT 318 DP 225178, Forresters Beach
- 79B Kalakau Avenue, LOT 319 DP 225178 Forresters Beach
- 83 Brisbane Avenue, LOT 195 DP 9894 Umina Beach
- 85 Brisbane Avenue, LOT 196 DP 9894 Umina Beach
- 22A Deleware Road, LOT 22 DP 29443 Niagara Park
- 32A Dover Road, LOT 25 DP 26468 Wamberal
- 40A George Street, LOT 1 DP 996535 East Gosford
- 1 Hely Street (Corner of Fielder and Hely), LOT 1 DP 17393 West Gosford
- 6 Isis Street, LOT 46 DP 231546 Wyoming
- 12 Jerribin Street, LOT 8 DP 246234 Wyoming
- 2 Kateena Avenue, LOT 192 DP 237499 Tascott
- 50 Wells Street, LOT 6 SEC 23 DP 56797 East Gosford
Seven groups have formed to rally to protect their local patch of open space.
“Save Central Coast Reserves believes that urban community reserves, parks and green spaces should not be sold off by Council as a means of making money. These sites are important to the community, the environment or both and will be of significant value into the future as our urban areas expand”
“We encourage communities to have a voice on this issue – once sold, we will never be able to get these public spaces back” said Sue.
To find out more we urge the community to go to the facebook page Save Central Coast Reserves or phone 0422565097.
Sue Chidgey, Save Central Coast Reserves – ph: 0422565097
Jane Smith, Community Environment Network – ph: 0439 853 646
The Council’s website states – “In 2015, council endorsed the potential sale of around 30 parcels of land that could deliver much needed funding to reinvest back into vital services, facilities and infrastructure for the community.
This decision followed a review of council’s property portfolio which identified a number of sites that: are no longer required for their initial use, are residual portions from previous works, are of no foreseeable, or limited use to council and the community, or have been replaced by larger nearby facilities.
In recent years council has continued to acquire an average of approximately 28 hectares of new land annually for community and recreational purposes. Reflecting these continued acquisitions, a review of council’s existing portfolio was in the interest of the community as a whole.
An external consultant has been engaged to consider all aspects relevant to each parcel that’s been identified for potential sale.
Legislation requires council to undertake a fully informed and transparent review of all identified community land parcels, which will include public hearings where the community will have the opportunity to speak for or against any land reclassification. The community will be provided with twenty eight days’ notice before each public hearing.
To view the land which has been identified for potential sale, select the relevant suburb listed below.
The images can be enlarged by clicking on them. For more detailed mapping information, you can visit our Mapping page.
Two public hearings will be held on 6 July 2016 at the Erina Room, Erina Centre (adjacent to the Erina Library). The first session will be held from 12pm to 2pm, with the second session from 4pm to 6pm.
Submissions regarding the proposed rezoning and reclassification should be addressed to:
The Chief Executive Officer,
Central Coast Council,
PO Box 21, Gosford NSW 2250
Submissions will be accepted for 14 days from the date of the hearing. Please note: submissions received may be read, copied and made available to the public.
For further information, contact council’s Property Facilities & Asset Management Department on 43258177.”
In addition to the 10 sites listed for the first Public Hearing the following sites are also threatened and will be listed for Public Hearings at a future date –
- Perratt Close Reserve, 1B Perratt Close, Lisarow
- Winter Close Reserve, 13 Winter Close, Lisarow
- Eagle Close Reserve, 2 Eagle Close, Lisarow
- East Gosford Reserve, cnr Wells and Coburg Street, East Gosford
- Yarram Road Park and Reserve at Yarram Road, Bensville
- Reserve at 40 & 42 Albion Street, Umina
- Reserve at 93a Riviera Avenue, Terrigal
- Reserve at 36 & 38 James Sea Drive, Green Point
- Reserve at 40, 42 & 46 Pozieres Avenue, Umina
- Reserve at 9-11 MacKenzie Avenue, Woy Woy
- Reserve at 10 & 12 Jumbuck Close, Woy Woy
- Reserve at 71 Alan Street, Niagara Park
- Reserve at 83 Ilumba Avenue, Davistown
- Reserve/Lookout at 37 & 39 Warren Avenue, Avoca Beach
- Wamberal Memorial Hall, parking area and children’s playground, 182 Ocean View Drive, Wamberal