Coffs Harbour City Council will this week discuss building heights in the city centre.
Coffs Harbour City Council will this week discuss building heights in the city centre. Keagan Elder

CBD height changes and gallery funding on the agenda

Three things going before the Coffs Harbour City Council this week.

SEED funding of $180,000 to ensure the sustainability of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery is just one of the items up for consideration at this week's Coffs City Council meeting.

The Bunker Cartoon Gallery.
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery. Trevor Veale

Cartoon gallery proposal

The initial three-year licence with the Bunker Cartoon Gallery Inc. was entered into with the view that the gallery would move towards sustainable operations.

The Incorporation has, however, indicated to council that: 'in its present form it is unlikely to achieve financial sustainability'.

To address this they are proposing the current facility be improved and substantially extended to increase the exhibition space and functionality, thus attracting a larger and more diverse range of visitors to the facility.

To help make this proposal a reality they are seeking seed funding of $180,000 from council.

The seed funding would be provided in a staged manner and allow the gallery to access State and Federal funding to expand the gallery.

Expansion plans involve waterproofing the existing bunker by building a self-supporting platform above it and then building another gallery on this platform.

The new gallery would look like: 'a modern version of a WWII Nissen Hut to retain the bunker theme'.

This concept would double the gallery space and provide room for a café, commercial kitchen and a community work room.

Review of building heights and floor space in CBD

Also on the agenda for Thursday night is a report which recommends the maximum height of buildings be increased within the 'CBD Core area' from 17m to 44m. The report also recommends an increase in the maximum floor space ratio for buildings within that same core area.

The 'CBD core area' is bounded by the Pacific Highway, Vernon Street, Earl Street and Park Avenue and corresponds with the existing mapped 17m (four storey) height limit as stipulated in Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013.

At an ordinary meeting in February last year council resolved to undertake a review of building heights in the Coffs Harbour City Centre.

Consultants were engaged to undertake this review and a draft report presented to council in December.

The council endorsed the report and put it on public exhibition earlier this year.

The report to be considered on Thursday night will include the outcomes of the public exhibition process and a recommendation that: 'an increase in the maximum height of buildings and floor space ratio controls within the city centre can be achieved without impacting on the amenity of key public spaces.'

Coffs Harbour City councillor Paul Amos.
Coffs Harbour City councillor Paul Amos. Trevor Veale

Waiving development contributions

Councillor Paul Amos has given notice of his intention to move a motion to explore the possibility of waiving development contributions for residential development in the city centre.

He would like to explore this option as a way of activating the city centre.

According to Cr Amos: "A strong and vibrant city centre is critical to the success of our area.”

"This needs to be supported by a strong residential component that can drive 24/7 activation of the city centre.”



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