Wasted space? Cr Ian Hogbin wants to see the top level of the Castle Street car park better utilised.
Wasted space? Cr Ian Hogbin wants to see the top level of the Castle Street car park better utilised.

Parking survey ignored by CBD

By LEE McDOUGALL

THE next time a Coffs Harbour city centre business complains about the lack of parking in the CBD, Cr Ian Hogbin will nod knowingly but not feel any sympathy.

"The business owners in the CBD have no-one but themselves to blame for the lack of action moving forward," Cr Hogbin said.

"The council has taken a proactive lead, but to get such a poor response from business owners, one can only assume that they are not interested in moving this part of the city forward."

Cr Hogbin was responding to the decision on Thursday night to withdraw the proposal to seek consent from the Minister for Local Government to extend the term of the City Centre Business Rate.

The extension of the rate would have funded a range of CBD initiatives, most noticeably an additional 160 car parking spots.

"Under the plan we would have seen 35 to 40 spaces created by changing to nose-in parking in Earl Street, plus a redevelopment of the Castle Street car park to improve the top level," Cr Hogbin said.

"The parking committee developed the simplest, most cost-effective way of increasing parking usage on the top floor, which was to provide a lift so that people didn't have to use the stairwells, shade sails and better security."

Cr Hogbin said he was disappointed the council received a response from just 41 per cent of the CBD business owners to their direct mailout survey.

"We needed a response from at least two-thirds."



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