Community Environment Network (CEN) will hold a webinar tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 22, to assist community members get their heads around Council’s plans for community land.
The webinar is aimed at assisting community members to write their submissions on Council’s draft plan of management for over 2100 individual parcels of community land grouped into 400 sites.
Council is categorising some community land for the first time or re-categorising others.
The type of categorisation dictates what can happen on council-owned community land.
In a second step to the process, Council is also planning to adopt an area-wide plan of management for these sites.
The whole business is currently open for public comment and council hosted five public hearings in recent weeks to explain the process.
Council Watch attended every hearing and can report that attendees were unable to get information on the current category of sites, and the reasons why land was being re-categorised.
The actual plan of management received very little scrutiny.
CEN has been critical of the time frame of the public consultation.
“CEN does not believe Council has conducted its community consultation in the right spirit and we encourage the community to join our webinar if they need an understanding of this process and help to write their own submissions,” CEN said in a press release this week.
CEN Chair Gary Chestnut also criticised the plan to have one area-wide plan of management for all 400 sites, in some cases replacing site specific plans.
“The Local Government Act is crystal clear about what plans of management for community land are supposed to do and the generic plan exhibited by Central Coast Council fails to explain how the council will manage its most important public land to preserve its qualities,” Mr Chestnut said.
“We believe this approach will result in poor outcomes for the community and the local environment and we’ve asked Central Coast Council to slow down and have a rethink.
“Any site that includes more than one class of community land needs to have its own plan of management and so do sites that are clearly of long-term value to the community.”
Meanwhile, Council Watch is aware that community groups around the coast have been working through the long list of sites to check the categories of sites in their areas.
Some groups have begun submitting their responses to the plan.
Submissions close on March 1.
If you want to know what it’s all about; start here on council’s website:
Or, go here for details on CEN’s webinar: https://www.cen.org.au/events/cen-event-list/758-learn-more-about-central-coast-council-s-community-land-plan-of-management-and-how-to-write-a-submission