As Council goes through the process to sell land in Gosford that was earmarked as part of an entertainment precinct, the Department of Planning has questioned Council’s commitment to eventually providing a performing arts centre.
The Department says It is not completely clear from Council’s planning proposal that there remains a commitment to providing the performing arts centre.
It also questions whether the funds from selling the land would be used for this purpose.
“The language used in the planning proposal does not preclude this outcome, but it also neither confirms this outcome,” the Dept said in its gateway determination to Council.
“This can be further explored as part of the relevant public hearing and considered as part of finalisation of the proposed amendment,” the department said.
Council has to hold a public hearing as part of the process of reclassifying 73-75 Mann St Gosford from “community” to “operational” so it can be sold.
“Funds from the eventual sale of the land will enable Council to continue to deliver a range of social/community services and infrastructure to the community,” Council told the Department.
Council-under-administration resolved earlier this year to undertake the necessary steps, including community consultation to reclassify the land before selling it.
Council must conduct the public hearing to give interested people an opportunity to have their say before a decision is made.
As Council explained to the Department of Planning, the land was originally acquired in 2019 for inclusion into the Gosford Cultural Precinct, to consist of a Regional Library and Regional Performing Arts Centre.
At that time the parcel of land was classified as community land.
On 25 September 2019, Councillors resolved to withdraw from any further work on the Gosford Cultural Precinct and proceed with a stand-alone Regional Library.
The subject site along with other adjacent sites all the way down to 49 Mann St, now have been earmarked for inclusion in the TAFE NSW campus redevelopment proposal announced last year by the State Government.
The TAFE proposal includes the sites of the former Broadwater Hotel and the Gosford Council chambers.
The Planning Department said the reclassifying will need to be finalised on or before 6 October 2023.
Council has not announced when the public hearing or community consultation will take place.
The screenshot below shows the site that needs reclassifying in question in red. The other blocks for sale are already classified operational.