The proposal, which includes 29 self-contained dwellings specifically for seniors, was previously knocked back. Photo: Brett Wortman.
The proposal, which includes 29 self-contained dwellings specifically for seniors, was previously knocked back. Photo: Brett Wortman.

Controversial development back before Council

A seniors housing development previously knocked back by Coffs Harbour City Council will be up for consideration again this week.

Anthony Cougle is the developer behind the Moonee proposal which would see 29 self-contained dwellings specifically for seniors, and six separate dwellings plus one exhibition home.

The 29-lot seniors' subdivision had prior approval, but when an adjoining lot became available Cougle Investments secured this through auction and added to their plans.

It was last up for consideration at Council's February 27 meeting with a recommendation to refuse it based largely on unacceptable traffic impacts on Anchorage Close.

The proposal includes 29 self-contained dwellings for seniors housing
The proposal includes 29 self-contained dwellings for seniors housing

Cr Sally Townley argued Anchorage Close is not suitable to handle such a development.

"The site lends itself to higher density living... but the one thing that does not meet the criteria is that the whole development is predicated on this access to Anchorage Close.

"When you've got cars parked on either side of the road you can barely walk between them," Cr Sally Townley said.

Crs Denise Knight, John Arkan, Tegan Swan and Sally Townley voted to support the motion to deny the proposal while Crs Michael Adendorff, Paul Amos, George Cecato and Keith Rhoades wanted to see it proceed.

With votes tied Mayor Knight used her casting vote to deny approval.

Mr Cougle says the tied vote scenario is unacceptable, not just in relation to his project, but for Council matters in general.

After being absent from meetings for almost a year Councillor Jan Strom made the decision to retire in March last year based on medical advice leaving the even number.

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He wasted no time lodging an appeal and the proposal was put on public exhibition once again.

"The plans are unchanged but part of the review process is to put it back out for public submissions - nothing has changed.

Anthony Cougle believes the development application will be approved this time.
Anthony Cougle believes the development application will be approved this time.

"This is a shovel-ready project that, based on all of its merits, should have been approved but now post-Covid more than ever we need construction projects to help get Coffs out of the doldrums."

In response to the latest round of public consultation on the project, a total of 22 submissions were received - all of which objected to the proposal.

The issues raised related to impacts on traffic and parking, overdevelopment, the high density character, lack of privacy and increased noise.

Despite these concerns the staff report to be considered by Councillors on Thursday evening recommends approving the development.

With the provision of more seniors' housing a priority for planners across the State Mr Cougle says this development is just what Moonee Beach needs.

"When my father got ill and Mum had him at home she couldn't shower him as she just couldn't get him over the strip and into the shower.

"All of our units will be designed to standard for disabled and aged housing so people can age in place instead of having to leave the area.

"Where do they expect us to put our elderly people ? Out in the boondocks because we don't want them in our backyard?

"It defies logic. I believe when this goes back up it will get approved."



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