Saturday, May 25, 2024

Coffs Council claim draft masterplan has ‘ignored’ residents

Coffs Harbour City Council claims the NSW Government’s current draft Masterplan for the city’s Jetty Foreshore Precinct has ignored the views of residents.

“I’ve made no secret of my concerns over the way the draft Masterplan has ignored the majority of residents who want to keep the public open spaces that are such a feature of the Foreshores,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Paul Amos.

“We’re a growing city and we have to safeguard our important public recreational areas for the future.”

Council has resolved not to support the draft Masterplan – with six of the city’s nine councillors supporting the resolution.

The draft plan – which is currently on exhibition for public comment – has been rejected by Council on a number of grounds including:

  • That the draft plan does not adequately reflect the desire of a majority of the community to retain the open space in the precinct for leisure and recreational needs as the city grows;
  • The draft plan fails to provide adequate car parking in the critical high use areas of the Foreshores and fails to acknowledge the spike in parking demand at weekends;
  • The impact that the proposed tall buildings in the Masterplan will have on users of the open spaces and any possible future use of the open space;
  • The conflict with Council’s adopted Local Growth Management Strategy that aims for a condensed city model in which public open space is highly valued; and
  • The disconnect between the findings of the NSW Government’s first consultation exercise and the draft Masterplan put out for the second round of public consultation.

Further issues over accuracy and delay concerns over the Minutes of the Project Steering Advisory Committee; the potential for mixed use development/zoning to facilitate residential outcomes only and the disconnect and inconsistency with the current Jetty Foreshores Plan of Management were also raised in Council’s response.

Councillors also resolved to confirm the community’s desire for the precinct, including the Jetty Hub area in the draft Masterplan, being primarily used for open space, recreation and passive tourism uses, the Mayor said.

It also requested that staff prepare a report looking at re-establishing a Visitor Information Centre in the precinct in recognition of the Jetty Foreshores being a key tourism destination.

Council says it will undertake a publicity campaign to inform the community of its position in relation to the draft Masterplan for the Jetty Foreshores Precinct.

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