Town’s unique character could be under threat
A NUMBER of high density developments in Woolgoolga could be pushed through before the town's masterplan is even adopted a residents' group has warned.
The Northern Beaches Residents Association (NBRA) is questioning the delay in adopting the masterplan which it says represents a consensus position on the future of Woolgoolga as a coastal village with a distinct and valuable character of its own, worth preserving.
Ray Willing, President of the NBRA, says the two year delay in implementing the Woolgoolga Town Centre Master Plan is causing confusion, uncertainty and anxiety across Woolgoolga and the Northern Beaches.
"Those delays are also causing uncertainty and frustration for potential developers. Council must take the final steps to implement the Plan for the benefit of all parties."
The issue has been brought to a head by a number of recent contentious development applications including one for a five-storey unit development which is widely opposed by residents.
The 37-unit complex is slated for a section of vacant land on the corner of Market and Queen Streets.
"The Woolgoolga Town Centre Master Plan was seen as an important milestone by residents of Woolgoolga and the Northern Beaches. The plan was developed after four years of extensive community consultation," Mr Willing said.
The plan was unanimously adopted by Council in February 2018 and recognised as an outstanding example of a community working together with its Council to plan for the future.
"The quality of the plan and the consultation process was recognised through an Urban Design Award from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
"It provides a level of certainty for both residents and developers about critical and contentious planning issues, including building heights. That's why it is so disappointing that it has been so badly delayed at the final step."
Mr Willing said that the longer this delay continues, the greater the risk of further uncertainty, anxiety and conflict between residents and developers.
"This could be quickly rectified by full implementation of the plan, which would provide a clear road map for future development in Woolgoolga. I implore Councillors to work together to implement the Plan as a matter of urgency."