The Community Plan time frame has been extended


bobreidFriday, 18 September 2020 - 11:09am

Community plan postcard

Those of you that are presently in the Cove should have received postcards last week from MidCoast Council asking you to get involved in developing the community plan for North Arm Cove and Carrington.

The postcards invite the North Arm Cove and Carrington communities to come together and develop a plan for the future of our communities, and ask residents to share their ideas by completing the postcards and dropping them off in the NACCAi letterbox at the Community Hall, or online by filling in a survey form at

Council would like us to share our ideas about:

  1. What do you love about where you live?
  2. What improvements or projects would you like to see happen?
  3. How would you like to see your community in 20 years?

Council is also encouraging us to provide feedback as groups by hosting "kitchen table conversations", as families, neighbours, and social groups. Council has prepared a guide to hosting "kitchen table conversations" which I have attached to this post.

Council is also calling for community members to become part of the steering group to prepare the community plan. Information on the steering group and nomination forms can also be found on

The community plan is for the community, it will be prepared by the community, and will be owned by the community. Council's role is to facilitate its development, and provide assistance and guidance as needed. It will be used to guide priorities for the future. 

So please get involved, share your big ideas for our community by completing the postcards or online survey and holding kitchen table conversations, and nominate for the steering committee.

Please note that the time for completing the postcards and nominating for the steering group has been extended from Wednesday 30 September to Friday 23 October. 

Postcards will also be mailed to landowners in the non-urban area, and those in the villages whose postal addresses are not in the villages.

Click here to download the PDF file. (Try shift+refresh if the file does not display above)


I wonder if the planning for the future process might start by asking questions about why we chose to live in North Arm Cove in the first place instead of in a town of 10,000 people? Then we can talk about how best to preserve what we already have here that makes this place special. 

North Arm Cove subdivision of more than 4000 lots (and over 10,000) residents has been approved and land subdivided more than 100 years ago. It beats me why would anyone who didn't want to live in such community decide to buy land and live there. But I am happy to hear logic behind it, if any.

Planning for the community is about imagining the future. Imagining yourself in that future and your loved ones. But also imagining wider society, way of life that will be different same as present day life is different from that 20-30 years ago.

Most of all it is about future generations. About those coming after us. What kind of place do we want to leave them. What kind of lifestyle, in what kind of environment are we going to leave for them.

It is much more than patching up storm-water system, equipment for the park at the beach, boat ramp or a coffe-shop at Community Hall.

It s about a town of almost 10,000 people, with healthy homes where people could work from, and children could learn at, but still safely walk to school to learn and play with their peers. It is about homes connected and serviced by sustainable infrastructure, built for and shared by community. It is about community that generates and shares their own power, collects and recycle their own waste.

It is about community of particpation and respect. It is about community connected to its surrounding by roads equiped for autonomous and safe transport, by ferry service and by an international airport just half an hour away.

It is about vibrant community that will manage their own affairs and not be bullied by "authorities" paid by the same community to serve it.

It is about community based on a "fair go" and hope. Fair go and hope for the community of thousands of ratepayers, current and future. Fair go and hope for future generation.

Fair go and hope for North Arm Cove (or is it Baromee?)

My correspondence with Mr DeSzell was related to Council owned non-urban land and was part of wider discussion about Council's Draft LSPS and State prescribed process to achieving full subdivision status from "paper subdivision".

MrSzell has expressed opinion of Council's planning arm and his own. As you have probably noticed his opinion was unrelated to NAC, substantiated with anecdotal evidence from North Pindimar that is more related to Tea Gardens than NAC. Quite frankly, I don't think Mr DeSzell knows where North Arm Cove is. I have subsequently provided him with some additional evidence debunking his misconceptions.

As witnessed on recent community meetings, issue of non-urban land are not high on village's list of interest so I have provide information to people who care more and who's opinion matters more. My vision (and not only my) has been presented to community on previous meetings.

My personal planning philosophy happens to be based on State's, Region's and Council's own declared priorities which, I am sure, you are familiar with. Principle of Council's duty of facilitating development is also quite important (specially when council neglects their duty). It is also based on some other principles like injustice of taxation without representation and basic rights of land owners to dwell on their land.

Frank and Honest.

That your 'correspondence with Mr De Szell was related to Council owned non-urban land' would appear to be contradicted by, inter alia, points 1, 4, 6 and11 in your letter to him, which relate wholly or in part to all of the NAC non-urban land. Mr De Szell, in his cogent and coherent response, seems to be under no such illusion, referring particularly to 'North Arm Cove and the long-standing paper subdivision issue' and 'the case of North Arm Cove and its surrounds' before stating unequivocally 'the future of these locations is one of environmental conservation and protection'. This would seem to completely contradict your claim that 'his opinion was unrelated to NAC'.

Not until paragraph 5 does he specifically mention land transferred to Council in lieu of rates. Your comment that 'Quite frankly, I don`t think Mr DeSzell knows where North Arm Cove is ' is duly noted.

Also to be assessed by residents of the village is your comment on their website that you prefer to provide what you personally consider to be information not to residents of NAC but to an amorphous group 'who`s (sic) opinion matters more' in your estimation.

For the benefit of all Cove residents and other interested parties and in order to clarify your stance and the above discrepancies, I invite you to post here in their entirety your 15 point email to Council (complete with your personal comments) and what you apparently claim was his response (unedited and in full).

As stated previously, the village residents are entitled to a frank and honest disclosure of matters regarding and impinging on the village.

Dear Nigel,

Procedure to achieve full subdivision status involves preparation of Development Plan and obtaining agreement of 60% of owners owning 60% land in "paper subdivision". Council is one of the owners and I have approached them, through our elected representative and eventually being directed to Mr DeSzell and his team. I was not interested in council's planning ideas - they were more or less known from past meetings with them - but about their plans as a land owner. Council owns aabout 1000 lots and its commercial value would be about $250mil after rezoning, yet Council has applied to IPART for variation to increase our rates beyond state-wide cap. So, we are paying 5% due to Council's mismanagement of their own land (among other things).

My second email to Mr DeSzell was answered by his phone call to me in which he, as a public servant, was very disrespectful to me, as a rate payer. I have asked for written and argumented reply and he responded that he will answer "as he see fit". I have followed our conversation with a record of that conversation in the email with 15 main points noting his attitude as well.

That has been followed by further, more respectful message from Mr DeSzellindicating council's intention with their land.

More importantly his message indicates Council's desire to finally get into the process of rezoning non-urban land and to do that based on "evidence based land use planning" and "triple bottom line" as a measure - as they have to based on Planning Act. I find it very encouraging for non-urban land owners with whom I have shared that information.

It should be noted that this all has been on a backdrop of Council presenting their Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) that I have provided my professional comment on (that I have also provided to Bob after last community meeting), as well as consultation for Local Community Plan - as advised in this original post.

So, there are quite few moving parts there at the moment and correspondence with Mr DeSzell is relatively small part of it.

Your disrespect and disdain for non-urban land owners and fellow ratepayers is dully noted. It is very similar to the attitude of Mr DeSzell.

That group, non-urban owners, as amorphous as it might be is one of the largest groups of rate payers in MCC. In that respect their opinion, on the future of NAC, matters more than that of small amorphous group that lives in NAC village.

At present, non-urban FB group has more than 400 members (and growing) while NAC "community" can't even assemble 30-40 members at the meeting, let alone at the working bee for community centre.
So, you judge who's opinion matters more.

Do I need to mention that NAC "community" has just recently voted to exclude their non-urban neighbours from its ranks? And discussion of the future of "non-urban" sub-committee has been pushed aside as not relevant for the NAC "community"?
Why change of hart all of a sudden?

Tatjana and I have offered our assistance to the community of NAC, that we belong to and that we are interested to prosper. I have no problem if community, or parts there of, are not interested in that. We will continue working with those who are.


A Very Personal Planning Philosophy.

Your personal and quite singular planning philosophy for the non-urban environs of our village is duly noted, as are the very selective issues and edited Council responses which followed.

Of far more relevance and revelation to readers of this site would be your very recent 15 point email to Council following a phone conversation with their Mr De Szell (complete with your personal comments) and what you apparently claim was his response (unedited and in full) where you have him setting out Council`s position and concluding emphatically "that the future of non-urban land in North Arm Cove is one of environmental conservation and protection and not residential development.", both of which you have recently posted elsewhere.

It is difficult to understand why you are prepared to reveal such correspondence pertaining to the village to readers of a not generally accessible site, but choose not to disclose it to those who would be quite personally effected by your very individual preferences.

Even more perplexing is, having received Council`s purported categorical response, you have made further posts here regarding your views of development of the village surrounds, without any reference or attention paid to its adamant conclusion. The village residents are at least as entitled to a frank and honest disclosure of matters regarding and impinging on the village as those you claim to represent elsewhere.



Council's Local Strategic Planning Statement was on advertisement until mid August. There were five submissions from/about North Arm Cove community. This is an outline of those submissions and Council's staff responses as to be presented to council's meeting next Wednesday:

Issue 1: North Arm Cove needs to be considered in the LSPS in terms of: (Submission 1, 2, 10, 15, 17)

  • finding a solution to enable landowners to develop their land. Sustainable options should be investigated.
  • being included in action 3.3, to develop a master-plan for the area and provide a major release for the southern area of the MidCoast area.
  • undertaking meaningful engagement with the community.
  • recognising the importance of Walter Burley Griffin’s subdivision by State heritage listing.


  •  it is agreed that a solution is needed for this area, along with other paper subdivisions in the MidCoast. The Rural Strategy, which is an action of the LSPS, will provide direction for this. The solution needs to be implemented in partnership with landowners and meaningful consultation will be part of the Rural Strategy consultation.
  • the future residential areas of Brimbin and North Tuncurry, have been identified by the NSW Government over a long period of time and both require master-planning prior to the development of these residential precincts. North Arm Cove will be looked at by the Rural Strategy, and recognise the significant environmental constraints of the area.
  • consultation with landowners will be undertaken through the Rural Strategy. We have to ensure our consultation approach is appropriate given the Covid-19 restrictions, but our aim is to provide the opportunity for both the landowners and residents to be involved.
  • State heritage listing can be undertaken either by the community or Council. If anyone would like to pursue a listing, they can contact Heritage NSW to investigate the option. It should be noted that State heritage listing requires a high level of heritage assessment for any future development.

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