NEWS THAT MATTERS

Draft regional strategy update

sends mixed messages

The Central Coast Branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation (CCACF) supports the concept of Objective 3 of the draft Central Coast Regional Strategy that claims to reduce car dependency and increase the walkability of neighbourhoods. However, this strategy doesn’t outline any public transport initiative within the plans to impose higher-density populations in suburbs with current transport and open space deficits, whilst also promoting housing development west of the M1 Motorway.

4 March 2022

 

NORMAN Harris, spokesperson for the CCACF, said that one of the considerations for Objective 3 is to reduce the climate impacts of urban sprawl by intensifying development around transport hubs and other growth areas of Tuggerah and the newly termed growth centre of Karagi, which incorporates the Entrance, Bateau Bay, Killarney Vale and Long Jetty.

 

Mr Harris said “The plan persist with including future development west of the M1 as a future growth area but there is no budget for public transport to those areas, which will only exacerbate car dependency.”

 

“The current Regional strategy appears to be just another document filled with motherhood statements that purport to accommodate "sustainable growth" into the 21st Century. Although, it looks more like assisting the development industry, by removing the environmental and social features many on the coast live here for, further reducing the quality of life,” he said.

 

A problem that the CCACF has with the Strategy is Objective 4, which aspires to increase urban density with residential housing on lots smaller than 200-square metres. Yet doesn't consider the impacts on local flooding, the heat island effect, transport mobility, and traffic congestion.

 

CCACF also noted that Objective 5 "connecting green infrastructure and quality public spaces” wants to plan for more trees in the urban area. However, Council and developers continue to remove open spaces like the community land at Austin Butler oval Woy Woy, which has the highest concentration of trees in the Woy Woy CBD.

 

Norman Harris said “we agree that the urban forest needs stronger protection and effective restoration, as stated in Objective 5. and the Central Coast greener places strategy, but we all know the developers apply to offset the trees they remove to squeeze in more units, enabled by strategy 5.9 of this report.”

 

“Council doesn't enforce the conditions on development applications for tree retentions and open space for developments. So, what hope have we got with this strategy?, he said.

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