NO GO: Real estate agent Troy Mitchell at the boundary between a concrete batching plant and a vacant lot on Elswick Pl in Isles Industrial Estate.
NO GO: Real estate agent Troy Mitchell at the boundary between a concrete batching plant and a vacant lot on Elswick Pl in Isles Industrial Estate. Rob Wright

Businesses zoned out

LANDOWNERS with concerns about the B5 (bulky goods) zoning in South Coffs Harbour say they are pleased with the result of a meeting with council planner Clyde Treadwell.

About 27 business and property owners joined councillor John Arkan at the Coffs Harbour City Council offices to talk to Mr Treadwell about their concerns with the zoning, which they consider too restrictive.

Christensen Excavations Pty Ltd joint owner Deb Christensen said she was confident the council would work with the owners about what would suit them.

Automotive businesses like truck repair yards and mechanics workshops are among the land uses currently outside the permissible uses for B5 zoned land.

Mrs Christensen said in the case of their land in Forge Dr, currently used to store earthmoving machines, if in five years they wanted to convert their building and rent it as a mechanical workshop, they would not legally be able to do so under current zoning.

"The blocks either side of us are owned by other people and down the track they could put in complaints (about their earthmoving machinery operations)," Mrs Christensen said.

"Yet the opposite side of our road is still zoned A4 (industrial).

Real estate agent Troy Mitchell of LJH Commercial helped to organise the meeting and said he was impressed with Mr Treadwell's willingness to assist and resolve the issue.

He said the B5 zoning excluded 25 land uses permitted under the industrial zoning.

"Everyone at the meeting wants to use their land and to minimise how long buildings are vacant," Mr Mitchell said.

"In 20 or 30 years the B5 zoning will be a fantastic thing (but) at the moment it is adversely affecting the value of these people's properties.

"The South Coffs service centre is basically a truck stop, yet under the B5 zoning it is not permissible to have a truck repair business in Collison Pl, which is beside the truck parking area."

A council representative said the B5 Business Development Zone was developed as part of the Industrial Lands Strategy, which was adopted by the council in 2009. It was produced to provide a strategic planning framework to guide the future development of industrial land within the local government area.

Since the adoption of the Local Environmental Plan 2013 - the overarching planning strategy that guides all development in the local government area - a number of issues have been raised with the council in relation to the permitted uses in the B5 Business Development Zone.

An update and review of the LEP is in process and, as part of that, a review of the permitted uses in the B5 zone could be considered.



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