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Thank you for contributing your feedback on our Draft Generic Community Land Plan of Management for land categorised as parks. Take a look at the FAQ's below to see the answers to the questions asked in the public exhibition.

We want to know what you think about the Draft Generic Plan of Management for Community Land categorised as Park (The Plan). The Plan is all about the way Council (us) generally manages community land like park features for the community to use (you!). We do this in order to uphold our requirements under NSW Local Government Act 1993 (the Act). To learn more about The Plan you can read our FAQ’s below or read the Post-Exhibition Draft of The Plan here.

FAQ's

Want to know about what Plan of Management is and why we're making a generic one for community land categorised as parks? Click the questions below

The Local Government Act (The Act) requires Councils to prepare plans of management for community land and the legislation sets out what must be included in the final plan. It is for this reason that the plan’s layout and content are very legislative and administrative. In certain parts of the plan, wording has been included straight from the legislation.

The plan of management includes an Executive Summary on page 3, which aims to summarise key information included in the plan of management. Feedback from community submissions has demonstrated a more detailed executive summary would assist readers to understand the aims and objectives of the plan, this has been noted and has resulted in changes to the executive summary.

To prepare a plan of management for community land in accordance with the Act, we have to classify land and assign a land category of:

  • Natural area
  • Sportsground,
  • Park,
  • An area of cultural significance, or
  • An area for general community use.

(Each category has assigned core objectives.)

The Land included in this plan is public reserves with play space and park facilities, and open green spaces without park facilities.

Both of these land types fall under the park land category.

The core objectives of the park land category, as specified in the LG Act, are:

a) to encourage, promote and facilitate recreational, cultural, social and educational pastimes and activities, and

b) to provide for passive recreational activities or pastimes and for the casual playing of games, and

c) to improve the land in such a way as to promote and facilitate its use to achieve the other core objectives for its management.

This draft generic plan does not propose changes to current or future uses on any of the sites. This plan’s purpose is to:

  • Capture existing reserve features such as land and buildings
  • Clarify how we will continue to manage the reserve
  • Outline how the land can be used by you.

The plan outlines how the reserve and its features, will generally be managed and maintained, it does not determine the specific work schedules (mowing, maintenance or upgrades) for parks, these are determined operationally by relevant staff.

Council maintains a large number of parks and reserves throughout the local government area (LGA). High-level planning and decision making for open spaces are guided by Council’s Shellharbour Open Space and Recreation Strategy 2020 –2030 (OSR Strategy). When planning for park renewal or upgrades, proposed work must follow the management objectives included in the plan of management for the land. The inclusion of specific renewal and upgrade details are not legislatively required to be included in the plan of management.

Implementation of the OSR Strategy will include the preparation of a Play Strategy for the LGA which will, among other things, help us to identify areas that require renewal and upgrades. Council aims to spread park renewal and upgrades throughout various suburbs so that all families can have access to new play equipment.

Park renewal and upgrades are prioritised with input from the OSR Strategy, safety condition assessments, community input and feedback, and input from various Council teams. Finally, park renewal and upgrades are also determined by available expenditure.

Historically, we have prepared site-specific plans of management for all Community Land reserves within the Shellharbour City LGA. This process involves lengthy investigations, multiple council reports and adopted plans.However, many community land reserves were not capturedand remained without a plan of management when using this process.

City Planning staff began an audit of Community Land Plans of Management in 2018. This involved reviewing historical reports to Council, reviewing existing plans of management, capturing land dedicated to Council which required a plan of management and review of Council’s land register to identify reserves which did not have a plan of management or had outdated plans of management.

From this we determined that the preparation of a ‘generic’ plan of management for multiple reserves of the same LG Act land categorisation to be the most efficient approach to ensuring all community land is managed by an up to date plan of management.

The Generic Plan of Management for Park land (Attachment 1) incorporates 72 reserves and includes:

  • Land categorised as park that previously had individual site-specific plans of management
  • Community land that did not have a plan of management; and
  • Community land that has recently been dedicated to Council and requires a plan of management.

Lands that are included in this plan are categorised as Park and reflect the core objectives specified in the Act. Not all parklands within the LGA are included in this plan, for these reserves, site specific plans of management will be prepared.

Not all community land categorised as parks can be included in a generic plan, there are a few you won’t see in this plan and that is because they need their own specific plan.

For example, the Act requires specific plans of management to be prepared for:

  • land declared a critical habitat,
  • land directly affected by a recovery plan or threat reduction plan,
  • land declared by council to contain ‘significant natural features’ or
  • land declared by council to contain an ‘area of cultural significance’.

Specific plans of management are also prepared for community land that:

  • is of high use,
  • is of a substantial size,
  • has multiple categories, or
  • is highly valued by the community and therefore may raise concerns if included in a generic plan.

In addition to the minimum requirements for generic plans of management, specific plans must also:

  • describe the condition of the land as at the adoption of the plan,
  • describe the buildings on the land as at adoption,
  • describe the use of the buildings and the land as at adoption; and
  • state the purposes for which the land will be allowed to be used, and the scale and intensity of that use.

We have a few plans of management in place for crown land as well if a park you are interested in has one you can find it on our Let’s Chat page here.

The best way to report an issue in a park or reserve is by lodging a request through Council’s eServices portal. Once you have submitted your request, you will receive a request number to track your enquiry.

Reporting local issues | Shellharbour Council (nsw.gov.au)

A Plan of Management is prepared over Council owned and managed land that is classified as Community land and is written by council in consultation with the community. A Plan of Management:

  • identifies the important features of the land and categorises the land (eg natural significance, sportsground, park)
  • clarifies how council will manage the land, and
  • indicates how the land may be used or developed (eg leases, licences and short term uses).
The information provided in plans of management is generally repetitive, as they use text that is provided straight out of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 (the Act). The provisions of the Act can be dealt with succinctly. Council may of course add additional information where appropriate

Apart from the benefits of properly managing community land, there are legal requirements under the Act that requires Councils to prepare plans of management over all community land.

Plans of management cannot override regulations or Acts. Council must comply with all relevant laws that apply to the use of the community land, in addition to the plan of management. For example, this includes other parts of the Local Government Act, the Biodiversity Conservation Act, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Plans of management:

  • cannot override replace, or stand in the place of planning instruments such as LEPs,
  • are separate to LEPs, they have different functions and are made under different Acts,
  • should be consistent with the LEP; and
  • will further detail the particular uses of the piece of community land, consistent
  • with the permissible uses for that land under the LEP.

The preparation of the draft generic plan does not limit or impact current and future uses on any of the sites. The guidance in the individual plans of management that relate to management and use, including current and future development of the sites have been transferred into the generic plan.

The Generic Plan of Management for Park land does not determine the maintenance and mowing schedules for parks. This is determined operationally by staff from within the Parks Team.

The generic plan of management applies the required information at the front of the document and then addresses each of the separate individual parcels of community land in a Schedule of Land.

Feedback is an important part of open space planning and assists us in understanding and planning to meet the current needs of the Community. Any proposed works, including park renewals and upgrades, are required to have community consultation. We log and consider your feedback in present and future decision making.

Generic plans of management are prepared for community land that:

  • Are considered as having one purpose (ie, Park)
  • Are relatively general in nature
  • Are not heavily utilised.

Each reserve included in Schedule One of the Plan has been determined to meet this criteria. Because this Plan is general in nature inclusion of community feedback and recommendations regarding specific parks is outside of this plans scope.

Council seeks community feedback through many channels Such as:

More questions?

Previous feedback