Let administrator merge planning schemes, says Wales
Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president Mr Matthew Wales has called for the Central Coast Council remain under administration for longer and the administrator's powers increased.
Mr Wales was responding to questions about whether he anticipated the Gosford by-election would be a referendum on the community's acceptance of the creation of a Central Coast mega-council.
"I think it is fair to say people are frustrated because things appear to be taking so long but that is tempered by the fact that this is a merger of two huge organisations which is not easy," Mr Wales said.
"There is certainly a feeling in the development and building sector that it is not getting the sort of speed or attention it needs," he said.
"I would not be surprised if we had a longer period of administration because you cannot hand over a Council structure that is ill-prepared to a newly-elected Council and on that basis the NSW Government will have to think about whether it extends the time."
The process of combining the two former Councils' Local Environment Plans, the main local government planning instruments, is of particular concern to Mr Wales, along with the former Gosford Council's Urban Fringe review.
"My fear is because the plan and urban fringe review are such massive decisions, if a newly-elected Council is ill-equipped to deal with them, it could spiral into years of indecision," he said.
"I believe there is a case to be put to the State Government that the merging process be allowed to be done by the Administrator.
"We need the merged planning instrument to happen quickly.
"We've got a housing availability crisis and it is already due to outdated planning controls," he said.
Interview, 15 Feb 2017
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Reporter: Jackie Pearson
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