Calls for Woy Woy plan after authentic consultation
Residents have told the Peninsula Residents Association that they wanted an overall plan for Woy Woy, based on "authentic community consultation".
They said that they valued Woy Woy town centre's village atmosphere, the nearby natural beauty and the friendly community.
They also said they were concerned about "evasive and ambiguous" planning policies, which allowed non-compliant development.
The views were recorded by the association at an open public workshop about the future of Woy Woy held last Thursday, August 25, at the Everglades Country Club, according to association secretary Mr Julian Bowker.
"Other concerns expressed included a lack of climate change preparedness, a lack of urban greening and overcrowding resulting from the State government's high population targets."
The purpose of the meeting, organised by the Peninsula Residents Association, was to allow the community to have its say on how they would like to see Woy Woy's town centre developed, he said.
"Around 30 residents attended the meeting and each person had the opportunity to record and share their views through small group discussion.
"Participants were asked to list what they liked and sought to retain in Woy Woy.
"Common responses included Woy Woy's waterfront, proximity to Sydney, and the bus, train and ferry services.
"They said they liked the village atmosphere, the friendly community and its surrounding natural beauty, including at the Austin Butler Reserve."
Asked about the problems facing Woy Woy, residents were most concerned about a lack of authentic consultation with community in the planning process, Mr Bowker said.
"They said they were concerned about the absence of an overall plan for Woy Woy to inform and connect individual projects.
"They criticised planning policies and documents which contained evasive and ambiguous statements and allowed non-compliant developments.
"They commented on a lack of climate change preparedness, including a lack of urban greening, which was causing the Peninsula's urban heat island effect.
"They were concerned about the State government's large population targets and consequent overcrowding."
Popular suggestions for future improvements included rehabilitation of historic buildings to help keep its heritage and character intact, said Mr Bowker.
"They also included a return to a democratically-elected council rather than a single government-appointed administrator."
He said another suggestion was to employ an expert town planner to advocate on behalf of the local community for "a well-integrated, green, sustainable and liveable town centre".
"Less popular suggestions were the removal of foreshore mangroves along Brisbane Water Dr to provide views at the entrance of Woy Woy and to increase permissible town centre building heights to 15 storeys to make redevelopment viable."
Mr Bowker said the residents association planned to continue to hold quarterly public workshops to capture community opinion and priorities.
This information would be used as the basis for the association's submissions to the council and other authorities.
For example, comments made at the association's February workshop were used in support of the association's submission to the Council's housing strategy.
Mr Bowker said the association welcomed new members.
For further information, visit the association's website at www.peninsularesidents.org.au.
Media release, 5 Sep 2022
Jen Wilder, Peninsula Residents Association