Motel to go in caryard expansion

TWO parcels of land in the Halls Road area were approved for rezoning from Residential 2E tourist to Business 3B City Support by Coffs Harbour City Council on Thursday.

One block, located beside Bellbowrie Motors, will allow the expansion of the motor dealership into the site currently occupied by the 45-year-old Star Motel.

The Star Motel site will be used for a car showroom and industrial bays for car detailing and vehicle repairs.

The other block, behind the Caltex service station fronting Halls Road has a concept plan for a mixed use development, including residential units, a childcare centre and shops.

Councillors approved an amendment to the Coffs Harbour City Local Environment Plan to allow the rezoning.

Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Keith Rhoades said he had received a letter from the medical director of the Mid North Coast Division of General Practice, Dr David Ellis, saying there was a possibility that a medical centre could be located on the Halls Road land.

In answer to a question from Cr Ian Hogbin, council's director of land use, health and development, Mark Salter, said the use of the site for a medical centre would be allowable if the rezoning proceeded, although no application had been received by council.

Mr Salter said the owners of the two blocks of land had paid the costs of the planning studies involved, saving the council money.

Halls Road resident Don Coleshill addressed council opposing the amendment.

He also objected to the 'rubbish tip' state of the Halls Road site and had concerns about some of the proposed traffic measures for Halls Road and worries about car transporters on the road.

The owner of Belllbowrie Motors, Des Taylor, addressed the council in favour of the amdnment. He spoke about the growth of his business, its contribution to local employment, which currently includes a $2 million annual wages bill, and his plans for expansion.

Mr Taylor said all car transporters and trucks would be unloaded on his premises and urged council to 'please put progress before negativity' and said after January 2008 the Star Motel would be closed but not remodelled or pulled down, so would create an eyesore.

He said while 50 per cent of the European cars sold by Bellbowrie Mooters went out of town, his expanded business would have the capacity to employ up to 20 more people in addition to the 40 already working at Bellbowrie Motors.

Cr Ian Ovens declared a pecuniary interest and left the chamber during discussion and voting.

In 2005 Halls Road was included in the Gateway Strategy, an urban design study of the Pacific Highway and adjoining land uses from Englands Road to the Big Banana and these two allotments were identified for future development.

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