Council has to recalibrate its capital works budget because the Department of Planning and Environment has yet to approve Council’s development application for the library.
Council will move $9.1M from this year’s capital works into next financial year.
To use council’s words: “This is attributable to rephasing of the Gosford Regional Library project to reflect delays in receipt of Development Approval from the Department of Planning and Environment.”
While council can’t approve its own development applications, there are plenty of people wishing it could improve its timing in approving their development applications.
Development applications can be for pools, garages, renovations all the way up to houses and unit developments and commercial and industrial buildings.
This time last year, Administrator Rik Hart admitted there had been a “slight drop” in Council’s approval times for development applications.
In July of this year, the council staff reported that the net median turnaround for all development applications determined by Council during the October 2021 to March 2022 period was 47 net calendar days.
This is a decrease of two days from 49 days in the last reporting period (April to September 2021) but was a significant slowing from the 24 days from the 2019-2020 year.
“The slowing in determination timeframes over the past 2 years is a result of a reduction in the number of development and building assessment staff, which results in reduced service levels to the community,” Council said in July.
And since then, Council has been on the hunt for more planning staff.
The change to the capital works is outlined in the September 27 council agenda.
Council doesn’t say how long it has been waiting for the library development approval from the State Department.