$52m project blocked by council

A $52 million redevelopment of Coffs Harbour’s Midway Motel site could mean 327 new jobs for the city.

But the project is blocked by the new City Centre Development Control Plan, which prohibits the proposed mixed tourist and commercial development, on the Pacific Highway near the Clog Barn and outside the CBD.

Chris Bramley, the project manager for the family project, which includes offices, serviced apartments and a function centre, said three years of negotiations with Coffs Harbour City Council had been "turned on its head in November" with the new draft Coffs Harbour City Centre Local Environment Plan and DCP.

Submissions to the draft LEP and DCP asked for the LEP to be modified to allow the redevelopment and for the Midway Motel site to be designated a "special area" under the DCP, but this did not find majority support from the councillors.

Last month the council’s planning staff said the development as proposed was prohibited by both current and draft Local Environment Plans.

They listed three options available to the developer, including a part 3A development application to the Department of Planning because of the project’s size in relation to the coastal zone.

Mr Bramley, who had an appointment in Sydney yesterday with the Department of Planning, said between April and October 2010, his family had spent $250,000 preparing the DA, but was only told in November they could not have it.

He said the mayor had had three briefings and six of the nine councillors had attended a councillor briefing on the project.

“All efforts to negotiate with the council have fallen on deaf ears,” Mr Bramley said.

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