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Proposal to subdivide Empire Bay land

An application to subdivide two residential lots of land at Empire Bay into three lots has been lodged with the Central Coast Council.

The application was lodged as an integrated development as it would include the reconstruction of an existing causeway over a creek.

The land is still subject to Gosford Council Interim Development Order (IDO) 122 which dates from 1979 and is Conservation Land.

The proposal, if approved, would see 21 Pomona Rd and 10 Currong Rd, Empire Bay subdivided into three lots.

The site is a battle-axe shaped allotment on the northern side of Pomona Rd and has a combined land area of over three hectares and lot 48 joins an unmade road reserve to the north.

Lot 48 is vacant land and Lot 57 contains a single dwelling, swimming pool and shed along with part of a large dam that is also on the adjoining property to the south and is constructed on an existing watercourse that bisects the land.

The proposal before Council would see lot 57 divided into two: a one-hectare Lot 571 and a 4933 square metre Lot 572.

The remainder of Lot 57 would then be combined with Lot 48 to form the 1.5 hectare Lot 573.

The proposal would require Lots 572 and 573 to be held in common ownership and a proposed Right of Access and a six metre wide services easement would be provided in Lot 571 to access Lot 572.

According to a Statement of Environmental Effects lodged in support of the application, a rezoning application was lodged with the former Gosford Council in 2015 that proposed to move the zone boundary between Zone 7(c2) Conservation and Scenic Protection (rural small holdings) and Zone 7(a) Conservation.

The rezoning would have allowed for the land zoned for Scenic Protection to have been extended to the northern boundary of existing Lot 48 (10 Currong Rd) and the remainder of that lot retained as Conservation land.

"The application for a rezoning was delayed and during this period Council changed its policy...and decided that ... any change to the zoning of land would form part of the review of the E zones," the statement said.

"The application for rezoning was subsequently withdrawn and after discussions with the then Manager of Development, Mr James McNulty, it was suggested that a development application be submitted," it said.

The land has been identified as bushfire prone and flood prone so the applicant has submitted both a Bushfire Assessment and a Flood Assessment Report.

According to IDO122 land zoned Conservation 7(a) is intended for: the conservation and rehabilitation of areas of high environmental value, the preservation and rehabilitation of areas of high visual and scenic quality in the natural landscape; provision and retention of habitats for flora and fauna; prohibition of development on or within proximity to significant ecosystems; provision of opportunities for informal recreational pursuits; the minimisation or prohibition of development so that the environmental and visual qualities of the natural areas are not eroded by the cumulative impact of incremental, individually minor developments; and the minimisation or prohibition of development in areas that are unsuitable for development by virtue of soil erosion, land slip, slope instability, coastal erosion or bushfire hazard.

Within the 7(a) zone, developments that need consent included agriculture, bed and breakfast accommodation, dams, dwelling houses, roads and subdivision.

According to the IDO, the objectives of the 7(c2) zone included to provide a buffer or transition zone between conservation areas and urban areas.

The zone was also intended to enable development for rural residential holdings on suitable land unlikely to adversely affect aesthetic and scenic value of the land and its setting or create demand for uneconomic provision of services.

Development that needs consent in the 7(c2) zone included animal establishments, bed and breakfast accommodation, child care centres, dams, dual occupancies, dwelling houses, educational establishments, home industries, plant nurseries, roads, roadside stalls, utility installations, veterinary hospitals and subdivisions.

According to the Statement of Environmental Effects: "The proposed development is consistent with the objectives of the 7(c2) zone in that the subdivision of the land is suitable for Rural Residential Holdings and is unlikely to adversely affect the aesthetic and scenic value of the land and its setting as there are a number of similar sized lots located within this locality and will not create a demand for uneconomic provisions of services as the only service that is not available to the land is the sewerage which will be provided and paid for by the applicant.

"The proposed development is also consistent with the objectives of the 7(a) Zone as future development will not occur within the area zoned 7(a)," the statement said.

Proposed Lot 572 does not meet the minimum required lot size of one hectare but an objection has been prepared to address the variation.

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