Lessons in planning
By DAVID MOASE
COFFS HARBOUR City Council's unsuccessful battle to stop a medium density development at Moonee Beach has taught it a valuable lesson, according to Councillor Rod McKelvey.
The Land and Environment Court last week gave the green light to a 131-dwelling development comprising apartment blocks, townhouses and freestanding residences to be built to the south of the new shopping centre.
Despite the arguments of the council and residents that the project would be an overdevelopment, the court ruled that the amended plan met the requirements of the Moonee Beach Development Control Plan (DCP).
Senior Commissioner Dr John Roseth ruled the height provision in the DCP which referred to 'generally six metres' and 'generally two storeys' implied the provision did not have to be applied to all parts of the development.
As a result, he approved three three-storey blocks as part of the development.
Cr McKelvey said the ruling showed the council needed to be more specific when writing its DCPs.
"The council's reaction to the approval is one of disappointment and we are unhappy at the variations from the DCP," Cr McKelvey said.
"The need to be more specific in the wording of DCPs has been evident for a while.
"The lesson here is that the DCPs should be written so there is no different interpretation of the rules.
"I am pleased the planning department have firmed up the language in new plans, such as the Hearnes Lake DCP which is pretty specific and I think provides a good result."