Midway plans to be debated

THE contentious Midway Motor Inn site revamp will be debated by Coffs Harbour City councillors tomorrow.

The B and H Group wants to spend $52 million converting the Pacific Highway site north of the Coffs Harbour CBD into a five-star hotel and 5000sq m of office space for government and corporate businesses, providing 330 jobs.

The developers said the council’s new LEP, adopted in December, was too restrictive and prevented them lodging a development application.

Councillors Rodney Degens and Paul Templeton will tomorrow seek to change the council’s stance on the project.

They want council to:

  • acknowledge the key gateway location of the Midway Motor Inn site as being equally significant to the city’s economy as the State Government-owned Beryl St site;
  • confirm the Midway site should get the same key-site recognition and equivalent planning controls under the draft city centre local environment plan and development control plan as Beryl St (those being B6 zoning, maximum building height of 19 metres, maximum floor space ratio of 1:1, and exclusion from limitations on office floor space and business use); and
  • confirm the LEP and DCP be amended to include the appropriate changes.

A report to the meeting commenting on the motion says the Midway site owners had negotiated with local council staff since 2007 and “have received continual support and advice from council staff”.

“Based on the advice of senior and executive staff, the property owners undertook extensive planning and environmental studies and prepared full architectural plans in preparation for submission of the development application,” the report reads.

“The owners were consistently advised by senior and executive staff that they would be able to submit the development application once the draft city centre local environment plan and development control plan were placed on exhibition.

“The planning controls included in the draft city centre local environment plan and development control plan have severely and unnecessarily constrained potential re-development of the Midway site and are contrary to the previous support given by council senior staff and its executive.”

Also at tomorrow’s meeting, Cr Degens will ask the council to investigate the replacement of the public toilets in the Park Ave car park with self-cleaning and graffiti-resistant models. 



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