Scenes from the Coffs Harbour City Council meeting that discussed the development application north of Emerald Beach caravan park in 2015.
Scenes from the Coffs Harbour City Council meeting that discussed the development application north of Emerald Beach caravan park in 2015. Trevor Veale

Coastal zone at Emerald back in developer's sights

A PROPOSAL to build on low lying coastal bushland at Emerald Beach has generated significant public interest and as a result will go to councillors for consideration.

The 29.7 hectare site fronts Emerald Beach and continues back through to the Solitary Islands Way north of the town.

While there are no structures currently on the land a previous proposal for a 39-lot subdivision was the subject of a lengthy legal battle.

It was a packed public gallery with many holding placards in opposition to the mutli-lot housing development when it was up for consideration by Coffs Harbour City Councillors in March 2015.

It was refused on a number of grounds including it posed an unacceptably high risk of flooding and inundation; unacceptable impacts on nearby Fiddamans Creek; the disturbance of Acid Sulphate Soils; and unacceptable impacts on the neighbouring Coffs Coast Regional Park.

Despite council's refusal, the proponent (Pridel Investments) appealed to the NSW Land and Environment Court but this appeal was thrown out.

Community groups opposing the development celebrated the outcome but warned the area should be permanently protected due to its environmental sensitivity.

Fast forward four years and Coffs Harbour City Council will consider yet another proposal for the site.

The current development application, for a large two-storey home, was not advertised or notified to adjoining landowners but despite this, almost 30 public submissions were received which means the application must be considered by councillors rather than just senior staff.

The report by senior staff recommend that the application should be approved subject to a number of conditions.

It will be up for consideration on Thursday evening.



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