The announcement by the Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts in early April (see Page 9) that the Government would focus on the revitalization of the Gosford City Centre with further announcements to be made on the northern precinct (around the hospital) and the southern precinct (waterfront) in the not too distant future.
It was a positive announcement and I believe that this government and this Minister want to see big changes in Gosford.
Over the last 30 years there have been numerous Plans for Gosford and all have failed due to the interference of a handful of influential people who were determined that we live in the past. They are still around and do have influence with the Central Coast Council. Recent decisions by this Council prove that that is correct.
Why would a Mayor use her casting vote to stop the development of the Regional Library
with all its benefits to the City Centre, and which over 80% of ratepayers approved of in a survey, in favor of an insignificant 3-story building that will achieve nothing.
The proposed Option 2 10-level building had been designed to provide 7,300 sqm of commercial office space that Gosford has none of.
Even with a Rescission Motion two weeks later the project is far from resolved so it appears right now that the dark forces of the past 40 years continue to prevail in this Council.
So we will need to be vigilant and aim to keep the momentum established by the last Gosford Council going.
It was the McKinna Council with CEO Paul Anderson that is responsible for the 10 cranes in and around Gosford right now.
Meanwhile the Government Architect’s recommendations for Gosford make sense and backs up what CCBR and many others said about the location of the Tax Office, which should have been in the City Centre and the Financial Services Building now under construction as well for that matter.
We do need to focus on the revitalization of the City Centre and encourage private investment.
It is happening. A couple of years ago the Lederer Group invested $20 million redeveloping the Imperial Centre and had plans to invest a whacking $700 million in a new development on the Kibbleplex site but that go quashed with the new amalgamated council and the incentives put in place by the previous Gosford Council to get Gosford moving have now been withdrawn.
Whether Mr Lederer will lose interest in Gosford now remains to be seen.
There is not much point in the Government saying its up to the private sector to invest when investors with the cash are getting discouraged.
The John Singleton Group is making a big statement with Bonython Tower right in the City Centre.
The Harris Family is about to spend up to $5 million renovating the Hotel Gosford.
Also, the Denny Organisation has acquired a major development site in Erina Street with Development Approval and will development that site in the next couple of years.
Look around Gosford and there are ten cranes with another for Pinnacle Constructions to go up later this month
So the private sector is investing.
Together with government investment in Gosford Hospital, Medical School, Medical Research Institute, Financial Services Building and Tax and the Denny Organisation’s many residential developments, Gosford has never seen such activity.
Of course there has to be growing pains associated with this development and one aspect is that of parking.
Parking availability is now at a critical point and will only get worse.
Council is working on a Parking Strategy but there will need to be some imaginative thinking.