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Environment and lifestyle

Central Coast Regional Plan 2041

Green spaces

A series of inter-connected coastal and active open spaces and national parks are the lungs of the region. They are the backdrop to the Central Coast as a premier destination for environmental and cultural tourism, listed on the list of top-10 places to visit in Australia. 

The Central Coast includes:

  • 2,100 native plant species
  • 384 native birds, 108 native mammals
  • 122 native reptiles and amphibians
  • 6,493 ha of rainforest
  • 624 ha of wetlands
  • 9 wetlands of national significance
  • 75.5 km of coastline.

Protecting natural areas and the corridors that connect them is essential to maintaining the quality of life valued by the Central Coast community. The regional plan will ensure that future growth occurs in appropriate locations to maintain the integrity of the green corridor network. View map of the biodiversity network (PDF, 1.9 MB). Find out more by reading objective 3 (PDF, 11.5 MB) and objective 6 (PDF, 11.5 MB) of the regional plan.

The green infrastructure network supports the natural environment, which enriches the experience of living in the region, sustains the region’s water supply, protects biodiversity, promotes community resilience and is integrated into building design.

In urban areas, green infrastructure and assets that can contribute to 15-minute neighbourhoods include:

  • tree-lined streets, including road verges
  • squares and plazas with trees, planting and water sensitive urban design
  • private and semi-private gardens around apartment buildings, backyards, balconies, roof gardens
  • regional parks, urban parks, open space reserves, formal gardens and community gardens
  • river and creek corridors, cycleways and safe routes along road, rail, light rail corridors
  • ovals, school and other institutional playing fields, and other major parks and golf courses
  • green roofs and walls including roof gardens and living walls.

Download the Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 11.5 MB).

Central Coast Council’s Greener Places Strategy

Council’s Greener Places Strategy includes mechanisms to sustain and enhance the urban forest canopy across all land parcels in urban suburbs by:

  • increasing tree planting in 19 priority suburbs 
  • commencing successional planting in Council’s passive open space reserves
  • replacing removed public trees by planting 2 new trees in the same suburb
  • requiring developers to complete quality landscaping in medium and high-density development.

Living on the coast

The Central Coast is a desirable place to grow up, raise a family and retire. With thriving hospitality and entertainment industries, people can feel part of their community through a range of quality social and cultural activities.

People enjoy a greater choice of housing in existing and new communities, close to jobs, services, public transport and walking and cycling options.

The region is expected to grow by 57,000 people over the next 20 years, requiring an additional 32,550 dwellings. The Central Coast Regional Plan 2041 will ensure that these new homes are provided in areas with access to shops, schools and parks.

The regional plan aims for a greater diversity of housing throughout urban and suburban areas including:

  • major centres at Gosford and Tuggerah
  • strategic centres at Wyong, Erina, Woy Woy and Karagi (consisting of The Entrance, Long Jetty, Bateau Bay, and Killarney Vale)
  • Greater Warnervale and Greater Lake Munmorah.

Council’s Central Coast Affordable and Alternative Housing Strategy adopted a target of making an additional 7,600 affordable homes available between 2016-2036.

Neighbourhoods need to become more nimble to accommodate different demographics. These should support people to stay in communities they grew up in as kids and support others to grow older in communities they know. Rigid and difficult to change planning controls limit these choices.

The regional plan is seeking a mix of densities in terms of the urban and suburban contexts and has proposed desired dwelling density targets that will be implemented through local strategic planning.

Housing at a human scale between 2 and 4 storeys can also: 

  • support small and medium-sized developers in providing new homes
  • diversify the sources, locations, type and mix of housing supply and the type of sites available in addition to larger renewal and release sites
  • increase housing supply in accessible parts of the Central Coast to meet demand and provide more affordable homes
  • provide opportunities for custom-build housing, social housing and community-led housing projects
  • support town centre economies
  • support public transport patronage and a mix of land uses in greenfield areas
  • provide opportunities for contemporary methods of construction.

Read objective 5  (PDF, 11.5 MB) to learn more.

Housing for Aboriginal communities

More than 12,000 Aboriginal people live on the Central Coast, making up 3.81% of the population.

Understanding the needs of Aboriginal people, including a wish to remain connected to Country, is essential. 

Co-led planning and development initiatives with Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council will leverage its social housing program and include the potential of a community-led Aboriginal home ownership scheme for the Central Coast.

15-minute neighbourhoods

The places most Coasties live in today, and the different land uses, urban designs and transport infrastructure, make the car the most attractive and often the only realistic choice.

The 15-minute neighbourhood is focused on walking, cycling and public transport networks. These ideally integrate nature into neighbourhoods to get more people outdoors while creating wildlife corridors and stormwater solutions.

These networks can lead to better place-based connections, where more people participate in and feel part of community life.

The regional plan considers how best to design new communities and retrofit low density residential areas into 15-minute neighbourhoods.

The 15-minute neighbourhood changes how we plan and design growth. It’s already a concept that we can see in the region, in more traditional towns and suburbs developed before the 1960s, including Gosford, Terrigal and Woy Woy. 

Rather than cities, towns, villages and communities being separate zones for living, working, education, recreation and entertainment, they can be mixed neighbourhoods where people can generally access most everyday needs within a 15-minute walk or cycle from where they live.

While many areas in the Central Coast do not possess the qualities needed to support 15-minute neighbourhoods, opportunities to invest in these neighbourhoods over the 20-year life of the plan will realise the right growth, community, resilience and equity outcomes.