Moonee gets the go-ahead

By DAVID MOASE

THE character and lifestyle of Moonee Beach face a major change following court approval of a controversial 131-dwelling development, according to residents group representative David Woodbury.

The Land and Environment Court this week gave the green light to revised plans for the medium density project on land adjoining the Moonee Beach Shopping Centre.

Following a second hearing of the case in December, Senior Commissioner Dr John Roseth upheld the appeal by Christine Roberts and the development company Oldarb Pty Ltd against the deemed refusal by Coffs Harbour City Council of the original development application for 143 dwellings.

During the course of the hearings, the plans were altered significantly, including the removal of one floor from a proposed three-storey apartment block.

The development still includes a trio of three-storey apartment buildings, attached dwellings, townhouses and free-standing dwellings, and the members of the Moonee Action Group are upset by the outcome.

"The proposal is definitely not in keeping with the character of Moonee Beach but in many ways the commissioner was snookered into his decision by the wording of the Moonee Beach Development Control Plan (DCP)," Mr Woodbury said.

"Even though during the DCP planning process the council assured us we wouldn't have bad development and wouldn't have three storeys, that is what we have ended up with.

"The action group and the community have supported other good developments but we just don't consider that this one is good."

Oldarb representative Peter Darby said yesterday the expanding regional population needed a range of accommodation and the Moonee Beach DCP encouraged medium density.

"This is the mix that the market is demanding on the coast," he said.

The court ruling had shown the company was right to seek court judgement when the council failed to deal with the application in the required period.

Mr Darby said building work was expected to begin about August this year.



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