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Collapse Issue 560:<br />9 Jan 2023<br />_____________Issue 560:
9 Jan 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council to classify 357 blocks as 'community land'
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Council to classify 357 blocks as 'community land'

Central Coast Council plans to classify 357 council-owned blocks of land on the Peninsula as "community land" under its proposed regional plan of management.

Of these, 115 blocks are not currently classified as community land.

The new classifications include pocket parks previously listed as potential council "asset sales" and provide some protection against future sale.

Pocket parks listed include those at 83-85 Brisbane Ave and at 8-10 Sydney Ave, Umina, at 9-11 McKenzie Ave and at 7-9 Angler St, Woy Woy, and 19B Memorial Ave, Blackwall.

Newly-classified parcels also include land accommodating the Peninsula Leisure Centre, the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club, Woy Woy Community Garden and bushland around McEvoy Oval.

A staff report recommending adoption of the draft plan stated: "It is proposed that a listing of named multi-lot reserves will be published for information purposes during the public exhibition period."

However, this does not appear to have been published.

The report stated: "Community land is generally acquired and managed on the expectation that Council is the long-term owner of the land (that is, the land will not be sold)."

However, council staff have previously suggested that community land can be reclassified as operational, which would enable its sale.

The report said that community land must be categorised as natural area, sportsground, park, area of cultural significance and general community use as the basis for the management of the land in the future.

It stated that the plan of management must set out the objectives, performance targets and the means of achieving them for the community land.

The draft plan lists the categories of each land parcels, and the provisions for each category,

It also appears to serve as the council's open space policy.

For example, the draft plan states: "Most of the non-regional recreational open space within the Central Coast is concentrated in fringe areas around water bodies rather than in centres, and on higher sloping sites that are managed for biodiversity value and less suitable for recreational use.

"Rapid urbanisation of the region has placed pressures on the central Coast's existing recreational open space network, and these pressures are likely to increase over time," it states.

"As private open space becomes increasingly smaller, to accommodate more diverse housing types, more expectation is being placed on local governments to provide land for useable open space.

"The Central Coast's open space planning will need to adapt to this change by considering the strategic distribution and use of open space to 2036.

"The use of remnant land for a combination of infrastructure and open space purposes in the past has resulted in a lack of useable parks and spaces."

Council director Dr Alice Howe said: "There will be a consistent approach to community land included in the new plan once community feedback has been reviewed and the new plan has been adopted."

However, site-specific plans of management will still be prepared for "land that comprises critical habitat and directly affected by a (threatened species) recovery plan or threat abatement plan", according to the staff report.

The plan of management does not cover Crown Land public reserves or facilities that are managed by Council.

The draft plan publicly exhibited until Friday, February 17, with submissions accepted until Tuesday, February 21.

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