Chamber's conditional support for boutique hotel plan

BEN Kelsall has one more hurdle out of the way in his plans for a boutique-style pub at Woolgoolga.

Mr Kelsall, who has applied for a hotelier's licence in Woolgoolga's Beach Street, now has the support of the Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce, industry and tourism.

On Wednesday night, an overwhelming majority of the chamber's 10-member executive voted to conditionally support the application.

Their support hinges on conditions set out in the proposed hotel's own social impact assessment, namely the enforcement of a dress code, and exclusion of a TAB, bottle shop and gaming machines.

"There was unanimous concern by the executive about the additional burden to parking in the vicinity of the proposed hotel development (on the Ocean Beach Motel site)," chamber president Steve Moody said.

"But this will need to be addressed during the development application that is yet to be submitted to Coffs Harbour City Council."

Mr Moody said the chamber's executive meeting immediately followed an open chamber meeting attended by up to 50 people at Woolgoolga's Visitor Information Centre.

"There was a high degree of concern raised at (the) meeting about anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol," he said.

"However, the majority of the chamber executive are of a view that the anti-social behaviour is more related to the cheaper availability or take-away sale of alcohol, rather than the upmarket boutique-style restaurant and hotel proposed for the site.

"The chamber is concerned about Woolgoolga lacking the amenity that provides a licensed restaurant close to our greatest asset, the Pacific Ocean.

"Currently, people drive to Emerald Beach or Coffs Jetty on the Pacific Highway. That presents both additional hazards and a commercial loss to Woolgoolga."



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