Peninsula loses 0.6Ha open space a year to granny flats
Approvals have been granted for about 25 secondary dwellings on the Peninsula in the last three months, according the Planning Alerts website.
And residents have been registering their concern about the loss of trees and open spaces on the Peninsula.
"Current council policy regarding shade trees is destroying our Peninsula," one resident commented.
However, the comments are likely to have fallen on deaf ears.
Secondary dwellings are usually approved as "complying developments" when they fall within State Government guidelines, such as having a maximum floor area of 60 square metres.
This process "fast-tracks" approval and does not provide for public comments.
The Peninsula could be losing as much as 0.6Ha (1.5 acres) of treed and open space a year to secondary dwellings, based on the Planning Alerts records.
The website accepts comments and forwards them to Central Coast Council, even though the council does not appear to keep a record of them.
Recent examples of resident comments were for an application for 31 Sydney Ave, Umina, which included the removal of a tree.
One couple commented: "We understand the desire to have a granny flat, but cannot the owners place it away from the the shady trees?
"We are tired of hearing chainsaws almost every second morning and more trees being smashed down.
"What is Council doing to preserve what is left of the tree canopy in our increasingly hot, desolate suburb?
"Please hear our pleas."
Another resident commented: "Please don't allow tree removal.
"The Peninsula is being completely denuded of trees with so much unsympathetic development."
In another comment, a resident said: "Check out the Woy Woy Peninsula on Google Earth.
"It is frightening to see that we have less trees than Sydney city.
"I ask that you please consider tree removal and the lack of shade trees on our Peninsula as a priority.
"Current council policy regarding shade trees is destroying our Peninsula.
"Even if council only looks at it with an economic view, lush areas with many shade trees are highly sought-after, affluent areas."
Another resident described the approval of plans for granny flats and secondary dwellings as "relentless", with the designs being to the detriment of "the natural feel of Umina, and the children of our community in just a few short years".
"Can people please use fresh innovative sustainable designs and environment conscious expert designers for their plans.
"Current plans are consistently sidestepping and managing to avoid important environmental issues, and developers' costs are being transferred and amplified to this community as a whole.
"Please show respect.
"The actual price of this current barrage of poorly-planned secondary dwellings and subsequent removal and deprivation of mature trees will be a Umina environment which is unrecognisable to the one that we as custodians have enjoyed already and had "planned" to live in.
"The future residents will be cursing us when we leave.
"Let us be intelligent and compassionate in our plans, and spend our money in support of our beautiful area Umina Beach and it's future.
"It doesn't have to deteriorate with time.
"Please don't develop unless you are improving the environment of the area.
"This is your chance to make a positive lasting contribution to Umina Beach.
"It will be appreciated."
Website, 9 Jun 2021