Open space policies under threat, says green group
Central Coast Council's requirements for "economic liquidation" should not override policies which protect the open spaces, trees, reserves, and remnant vegetation of the Peninsula, according to the Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
Branch president Mr Mark Ellis said the council should remove the land at Memorial Ave from its sale list for this reason.
"Throughout all the Central Coast council strategic policies, green spaces, liveability, and walkability play a major part in providing lifestyle and amenity to residents," he said.
Mr Ellis said outdated planning was not protecting the Peninsula, "as more people and higher residential densities will inevitably create a demand for local open space".
The changes had meant the loss of private open space in the form of backyards and outdoor entertaining areas and spacious standalone quarter acre blocks were decreasing in number.
"Planning standards for open space derived from the early 20th century do not accommodate the needs of a population in higher density areas now."
Mr Ellis said a study of land use on the Peninsula was used in the Council's draft Greening Strategy as justification of the statement: "If permitted unchecked, the ongoing pattern of land cover change, particularly the significant tree canopy loss, has substantial implications for the future liveability, health and wellbeing of urban environments and communities".
"From the graph it can clearly be seen the loss of tree canopy, the increase in impervious surfaces, and the rise of unplantable space across the Woy Woy Peninsula which has been exacerbated in the past five years," he said.
"Council has the data on the impact on liveability (a key focus in their strategic planning documents) of the removal of more trees and creation of more hard services, including urban heat island impacts."
Media release, 28 May 2021
Mark Ellis, ACFCC