Active Lifestyles Strategy

Active Lifestyles Strategy

Consultation for this project has now concluded.

Council is developing an Active Lifestyles Strategy for the region and is asking the community how you currently use open spaces, what you value and what you want to see in the future to encourage healthy and active outdoor lifestyles.

The Central Coast has an abundance of open space areas for a variety of recreational and sporting activities.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live and work and has highlighted the value of these outdoor areas. With less time spent commuting and restrictions limiting the option of socialising and exercising at other venues we have had more time and to use and appreciate these local spaces.   This combined with the growing population on the Coast creates a greater need for these spaces, so we need to ensure we plan for them now.

The active lifestyles strategy will ensure that Council has a well-considered long-term framework for future land planning and management and prioritisation of infrastructure projects, whilst also providing clear criteria and direction for development to ensure there is adequate open space areas that accommodate the needs of our community.

Between 24 February and 5 April 2021 the community were invited to: 

  • View the FAQs available below
  • Participate in an Active Lifestyles survey (now closed)

Two engagement summaries and a comprehensive consultation report have been developed and are available in the document library on this page. 

Council will use the feedback you have provided, along with the previous related consultation results, to develop a draft Active Lifestyles Strategy which will then be placed on public exhibition before being finalised and adopted.


Segmented Documents

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Engagement results


Active Lifestyles Strategy underway

Who's listening

Who's listening
Open Space and Recreation team
Margaret Barrett – Senior Consultant
0423 325 158

What does an active lifestyle mean?

An active lifestyle means you undertake physical activity regularly and consistently, regardless or the intensity level or whether it’s informal or as part of an organised group or team, undertaken alone or with other people.   
Any activity that gets you up and moving is part of an active lifestyles and can include gentle and low impact exercise or more strenuous activity that get your heart pumping!   
The range of physical activities that can be undertaken are endless and can be as diverse as people’s interest.  These may include walking, swimming, running, surfing, kayaking, yoga, traditional sports, bike riding, skateboarding, extreme sports, fitness classes or horse riding. 

What are the benefits of an active lifestyle?

Leading an active lifestyle has enormous physical and mental health benefits for our community.
An active lifestyle contributes to short- and long-term overall wellbeing.  It can impact our ability to cope with stress, our energy levels, quality of sleep, our immune system and resistance to fight infections and risk level of certain diseases.
Active lifestyles are often linked to a connection with others in our community and sense of belonging which also improve mental health and well-being.

What is an Active Lifestyles Strategy?

An Active Lifestyles Strategy is a plan to encourage healthy and active lifestyles by providing accessible, well designed, constructed and managed public open space sport and recreation areas and facilities. 
Central Coast Council recognises that as a major provider of open space facilities, it plays a leading role in providing the community with opportunities to stay active.  
The Active Lifestyles Strategy will be based on the principles of increased participation through inclusion, improved access, fit for purpose facilities, community and partner engagement and a whole of life approach to active lifestyles opportunities.

Why do we need an Active Lifestyles Strategy? 

Providing sporting, leisure and open space areas and facilities that are well maintained and activated delivers on a goal from Council’s Community Strategic Plan which reflects our community’s vision for a liveable coast through the promotion of healthy lifestyles for a growing community with well-maintained and activated open spaces. 
An active Lifestyles Strategy is used by Council to make evidence-based decisions relating to the acquisition and development of its open space areas to ensure that these places meet the growing demands and needs of the local community as our regional population grows and diversifies over the next ten years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live, work and play and has seen an increased use of local open spaces area that has remained even after indoor facilities and venues re-opened. This combined with increased tourism and residents has created a greater need for these spaces, so we need to ensure we plan for them now.

What open space areas does the active lifestyles strategy cover?  Are beaches, national parks included?

This strategy does not include planning for National Parks as these are managed by the NSW State Government. 
It does include Central Coast 

  • Beaches and foreshore reserves  
  • Waterways (boating, kayaking, SUPs etc)
  • Playspaces
  • Skate parks  
  • Sportsgrounds
  • Parks, reserves and recreational precincts
  • Tennis facilities
  • Bike paths
  • Dog parks and off leash spaces

Why is Mountain biking not included in the Active Lifestyles Strategy? 

Council is undertaking a Mountain biking feasibility study, community engagement on the discussion paper is currently underway (open from 22 February to 22 March 2021). 

How will the Active Lifestyles Strategy influence the actions identified in other strategies and plans such as the Playspace Action Plan, Skatepark Action Plan? 

The Active Lifestyles Strategy is a parent document to the playspace and skate action plans. It provides the vision and direction to inform the development of new assets and facilities in locations that are accessible to the communities that need them.
The Active Life Strategy also sits over other shorter-term action plans, which are specific to key open spaces areas such as:

  • Sportsgrounds
  • Parks, reserves and recreational precincts
  • Tennis facilities
  • Waterways (boating, kayaking, SUPs etc)
  • Bike paths
  • Dog parks and off leash spaces

Will the Active Lifestyles Strategy address and accommodate the projected population growth for the Central Coast LGA? 

As the Central Coast population is expected to increase from 342,000 to 415,000 over the next ten years, Council will need to plan for the sport and recreation needs of both residents and visitors to ensure that its suite of facilities and assets encourage the whole community to embrace the social, economic and environmental benefits of healthy lifestyle.
The NSW Government Architect’s Green Grid planning philosophy will also be factored into the decision making at the local level and will lead to improved commitment by all partners to deliver a hierarchy of recreation and sports facilities that are based on the principles of safe and inclusive design, shared use and whole of life asset management. 

How long before the items identified in the Active Lifestyles Strategy are delivered?

Whilst the Active Lifestyles Strategy has a ten-year planning horizon, the action plans that it parents will deliver capital works upgrades on a four-year cycle to align with Council’s Delivery Program. Council will periodically revisit the initial priorities identified in the Active Lifestyles Strategy to ensure that any changes in population and trend forecasting are catered for and incorporated into delivery outcomes. 

How can I get involved in the development of the Active Lifestyles Strategy?

Council is encouraging the community to participate in the online survey which will identify how open spaces are currently being used and what is needed in the future to accommodate community needs and encourage active lifestyles.
The online survey will be live between 24 February to 5 April 2021.

What are the next steps for the Active Lifestyles Strategy? 

Following the consultation period, Council will develop a draft Active Lifestyles Strategy. 
The draft strategy will then be placed on public exhibition and the community will be provided with an opportunity to make further comments on the draft Strategy. 
When the draft Strategy is adopted, council will the implement actions within the plan and use it as a reference guide for related projects and strategies. 

Where can I find more information about the Active Lifestyles Strategy? 


For more information on the development of the strategy you can: 
View the information available online at
Contact us using the information listed on the ‘Who’s listening’ widget. 

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