Chamber wants land sale halted
COFFS Harbour Chamber of Commerce is trying to halt the sale of a block of railway land at the Jetty.
The 5099 square metre block at the eastern end of the Jetty Strip was used as a de facto customer car park for many years but was put on the market by the Rail Corporation of NSW in 2009.
The block was fenced off late last year, annoying restaurant patrons and Jetty businesspeople.
It is currently for sale through Colliers International with an indicative price of $1.8 million.
Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce president Peter Lubans said members would have a meeting with Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath on Tuesday to see if they could get support from the council to have the sale halted until a plan for the redevelopment of the Jetty Foreshores was completed.
“We would like to know the Railcorp long-term plans for the future of this corridor,” Mr Lubans said.
“We don’t want to see the same thing as happened on the north side of the level crossing.”
Railway land on the northern side was sold and redeveloped as the Ocean Gem apartments, now renamed Pacific Marina, blocking views of the harbour to the north from Harbour Drive and Orlando Street.
One third of the southern block currently for sale is zoned ‘special uses railway’ and the rest is zoned ‘business mixed use.’
Mr Lubans said the northern land was originally sold by rail authorities for about $600,000.
He said he would like to see the unsold southern railway land retained for uses like a gateway entrance to the harbour, parking and possibly a pedestrian walkway and an elevated harbour viewing platform.
“There are safety and access issues as well and once the land is sold, all possibilities are gone,’ Mr Lubans said.
The Chamber also plans to approach the member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser and other candidates for the March State election to lobby for the retention of the open space.
The block has been on and off the market several times over several years.
Former deputy mayor and Jetty resident Councillor Bill Palmer said last year it was his fervent wish for council to buy the land but he doubted if it would ever have the money.