1 Supporters have signed already!
Help us reach our goal of 200

Sign it!

The Petition

This Petition will be sent to:
  1. Ms Jane Smith,
    Mayor Central Coast Council
  2. Mr Adam Crouch MP,
    Member for Terrigal
  3. Ms Rebecca Gale Collins,
    Gosford East Ward Councillor
  4. Jeff Sundstrom,
    Gosford East Ward Councillor
  5. Mr Jamie Loader,
    Director for Environment & Planning

Stop low-density housing in our valley

Let’s send a message to Central Coast Council

The Matcham and Holgate peaceful way of life is under threat. Protecting the minimum block size of 10,000sqm’s (2.5 acres) is critical if we want to maintain the character and peaceful amenity of our valley and natural environment of the land.

A Development Application (DA) has been lodged with Council requesting an exception to the minimum land size required under Scenic Protection 7(2c) zoning for a new dwelling.

It’s time to stand up and make sure future generations can continue to benefit from this fantastic place we call home. The only people who will prosper from this type of low-density plan are the speculators, leaving the community behind to live with the consequences.

All eyes are on this tiny yet high profile site. We need to use our voices to tell Council that they cannot ignore essential regulations. Council’s decision on this DA is a pivotal moment for our Valley. We can make a difference before it sets a dangerous precedent, or we can let it pass unchallenged and accept this key marker in our valleys’ march toward suburban expansion.

“It will stand as a permanent Council monument declaring our valley officially open for development!”.

The choice is ours!

Let’s stand united as a community and shape our future together.

Petition by,
Save Our Valley Community Group


Dear Ms Smith,


On behalf of [xxx] supporters, neighbours and friends of the community of the Matcham and Holgate valleys, we request Central Coast Council enforce planning regulations for Development Applications (DA’s) that do not meet the minimum lot size of 1 hectare (10,000sqm). We oppose any DA, including DA54082/2018, that does not comply, that does not maintain the peaceful amenity and character of this locality, and that adversely affects the natural environment of the land.

We wish to bring to your attention to 3 Oak Road, Matcham (the Block). Newcastle Diocese of the Anglican Church has recently sold this Block to one or two of its members, and the purchasers propose building a large house, garage and pool in the north-west area of the approx. 0.2 ha Block which is zoned Scenic Protection 7(c2) (proposed E4). As you will be aware, both zones require 1 ha/lot and 2ha/lot respectively for new dwellings.

  1. The Block was gifted by a member of a local farming family (Heyne’s) for a church as a memorial to those who fell in World War I. The Foundation Stone laid in 1925 reminds the community of those who gave their lives for others. The Block was subdivided with the intention it be used as a community Church for all time.
  2. The Block does not have a dwelling entitlement, and a residential building has never existed on the Block.
  3. The Block is about one-tenth of the size required for a lot in this area: any attempt at an increase in density should be resisted as being contrary to the expansive rural residential character of Matcham and Holgate, as documented in the LEP and DCP.
  4. The Block is zoned as a Place of Worship. The DA is requesting a zoning change and an exemption to the minimum lot requirement for a new dwelling. We understand that if approved, it would be the first successful exemption of its type in the last 20 to 30 years. Approval of this request will set a new standard, a new precedent for all future development applications in the valley.
  5. We have had discussions with several locals who do not want this petition to succeed. Their comments are very concerning, with one developer with significant land holdings in the valley and several other residents saying, “we are keen to subdivide, so this is good for us!”. There are many other pro-development residents quietly watching from the sidelines in the hope that this DA will trigger a new small-lot development boom for the valley similar to that of the period pre-dating IDO 122.
  6. Any residential driveway on the Block would magnify the already congested intersection which has two public bus stops with bi-directional blind corners, daily parental drop-off and pick-up zones for multiple school services, acts as a community carpark for 20 to 50 cars and trucks per day and is also used as a local dumping area.
  7. Any development of the Block would dramatically impact neighbouring privacy and adversely affect the aesthetic and scenic value of the surrounding area.

That is, this well known, high-profile small Block is tremendously constrained as to the purpose of its creation (for remembrance) and donation for community purposes, as well as through natural hazards and town planning requirements.

While acknowledging that the State’s population growth puts pressure on Council to produce more houses, some land for historical, cultural, location or natural reasons should never be developed further than its current state. This site, by any measure of common sense, environmental and local governing law, is an exemplary example.

Should Council approve a development application on the Block, the building will stand as a permanent monument to residents, investors and speculators – “Anything goes, regulations are easily overcome, and Matcham is now open for development.”


In areas of Scenic Protection, the community requests refusal of any attempt to develop any block of land for a new dwelling (including DA54082/2018) that does not meet the minimum lot size of 1 hectare (10,000sqm).

Yours sincerely

Save Our Valley Community Group



Council Approves DA for St George Church Information

Council is recommending that DA54082/2018 at 3 Oak Road, Matcham be APPROVED.

The final decision will be made on the 10th December 2018 at 6.30pm. Council Chambers, 2 Hely Street, Wyong.

Please attend if you like to hear what councillors have to to say about the DA.

If you disagree with the recommendation for approval, I would urge you to email the following Councillors, and pass on this email to others who may also want to let the council know that the community disagrees with this decision. Emailing these decision makers is important.

Jane Smith: mayor@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
Rebecca Gale Collins: rgalecollins@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
Jeff Sundstrom: jsundstrom@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
Jamie Loader: jamie.loader@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

Make sure to include the following info at the top of your email.

Description: Conversion of Existing Church into a new Dwelling at 3 Oak Road, Matcham.”

Submit Objections to a DA Information

DA’s are available for public objections

To submit feedback to council on an advertised DA, click on the below link to comment.

CLICK HERE to make a submission directly to council

If your submission is an objection, any grounds of objection must be clearly stated and should not include references of a personal nature.

Submissions will be made available to the applicant and the public – this includes publication on council’s website. Please ensure original signatures are not included on any submissions.

If you have made a reportable political donation or gift in the last two years, you will need to complete the ‘Disclosure of Political Donations & Gifts’ section of the form.

Click Here to submit an objection



Why is this small block development so important? Information

“There are lots of small blocks here already. What’s the problem?”

It is a fair question and one we often get from neighbours citing other small blocks as precedent.

A professional property consultancy firm advised us on the matter;

“Up until the 1980’s Council allowed subdivision and small lot developments in the Matcham area. For a range of reasons, including escalating small block applications, Council rezoned the area 7(c2) Conservation and Scenic Protection (Scenic Protection – Rural Small Holdings).

Under the new 7(c2) zoning it increased the minimum lot size to 2 hectares for new dwellings. This can be reduced down to 1 hectare where a monetary contribution is paid to Council for the acquisition of conservation land. Small blocks with a dwelling entitlement pior to the rezoning in the 1980’s remain permissible. New dwelling applications must meet the the current planning instrument 7(c2).”

We have been unable to find a new dwelling approved after 7(c2) that does not meet the minimum 1 hectare (10,000sqm) requirement.

The DA for 3 Oak Road Matcham is requesting an exemption. If approved, it would be the first successful exemption to the minimum land size requirement for a new dwelling in the last 30 years. It will set a new standard, a new precedent for future development applications.

This week we have had discussions with several locals who do not want this petition to succeed. One is a developer with significant land holdings in the valley and at least one residential neighbour who said, “we are keen to subdivide, so this is good for us!”. For certain, there are many more pro-development residents quietly watching from the sidelines.

Let’s not reverse twenty years of work and return to the over-development era of the 1980’s. Make a difference, share this petition and let’s send a message to Central Coast Council that we want to keep the minimum 1 hectare (10,000sqm) requirement for new dwellings!.


DA Lodged with Council Information

Development Details

This is an excerpt of the DA issued to council for the development of a new dwelling (2023sqm block). The complete set of documents can be downloaded by clicking on the below links: 

CLICK HERE to Download The Complete DA

CLICK HERE to Download Floor Plan

“Council’s consent is sought to convert a former church on the subject property into a dwelling and erect a detached garage. The proposed development is to be staged as follows:

Stage 1: Conversion of the former church to a one-bedroom dwelling and the construction of a detached garage on the southern side of the property.

Stage 2: Alterations to the dwelling and additions to the rear of the dwelling to create a three- bedroom dwelling on the land.

The property is located on the western side of Oak Road, around 35m from the intersection of Coachwood Rd. It has a total land area of 2,023m2. The land is irregularly shaped with a width at the building line of approximately 43m and a variable depth of around 45m.

The property contains a former Anglican Church which was recently purchased by the current owners. An existing detached awning and shed also exist on the northern side of the property. The site also contains some vegetation around the side and rear boundaries.


3 Oak Road – proposed development plan



The proposal is consistent with the objectives of the 7(c2) zoning as it will:

  • Not detract from the existing buffer zone between the conservation areas to the north and west and the urban areas to the east.
  • Facilitate the development of a new dwelling on the rural-residential holding whilst not having an adverse effect on the aesthetic and scenic value of the land.
  • Not create a demand for the provision of additional services to the property.
  • Will not unreasonably interfere with the amenity of adjoining properties mainly by implementing generous setback distances.In addition to the above, it is considered that the proposed development appropriately addresses the objectives of the Local Government Act and its principles of ecologically sustainable development. This is primarily due to the fact that the development is seeking to retain and re-use the former church as part of the overall development. Retention and re-use of the former church will reduce the demolition costs and the need to dispose of the materials in land fill. It will also reduce the cost of materials required for the development.”


Lisarow Development – A sign of things to come? Information


At last nights Council meeting a proposal to rezone a block in Lisarow from conservation and scenic protection to low-density residential has been approved. The block at 44 Taylor Rd will be subdivided into five residential blocks.

Central Coast Council was divided over the issue, with Mayor Jane Smith using her casting vote to approve the planning proposal.

The site of the planning proposal. Source: Central Coast Council

Neighbour Denise Allen expressed concerns about the wildlife corridor as well as future applications for rezoning on semirural spaces which would change the character on the area.

She said the previous owner had unsuccessfully tried to rezone the land for the past 10-15 years.

“What has changed?” she said.

Council’s group leader for environment and planning Scott Cox said a large section of land was removed from the latest proposal due to bushfire impacts.

The History of the Church Information


A group of dedicated locals from the Matcham and Holgate community have created a beautiful website to record the history, past and present, of St George’s Church at 3 Oak Road, Matcham. We encourage everyone to click on the link below and take-in some of the amazing historical stories that surround this important landmark.

Did you know that local families joined together each year for carols by candlelight, and sometimes even fireworks!

Read More..

Join Us and Together We Can Make a Difference Call to Action

The Save Our Valley petition is officially launched! Get behind this community initiative to save Matcham and Holgate from inappropriate development. Council must maintain the peaceful amenity and character of these immensely important valleys. If not, we risk a future where anything goes, regulations are easily overcome and Matcham/Holgate is officially declared; now open for development!


Sign the petition now and make a difference.

We promise to use only your first name on this website or if you want to remain publicly anonymous just let us know in your sign-up message.

  • Graham King

    The Valley has continually grown and developed, but some proposed changes to the fundamental nature of this place, our home, need to be seriously questioned if we are to preserve the reasons we choose to live here.

  • Steven Eslick

    Its a nice tranquil place why stuff it up why do these residents need there properties devalued

  • Stuart

    Wow.. this is really interesting. We looked at buying this block last year, but after some due diligence and advice from a local planning consultant we decided not to go ahead. We can’t afford a normal block in Matcham so we are buying up north instead. So many regulation problems, buying it would have been a total punt. I’m opposing the development because people like us did the right thing and walked away. I don’t think somebody else should get the benefits by trying to get around the rules. I think greed has got in the way of common sense here.

  • Don Kennedy

    Well said Stuart. I am sick of people circumventing rules for their own selfish interests.
    Not only this proposal but also the numerous Air BnB popping in the valley. What gives people the right to rent out their house to god knows who and disturb their neighbors who have moved into the valley to enjoy a peaceful life in the bush. It’s all about greed and selfish people. Rules are there for a reason.


Leave Comment