Debating over developments

Development on the northern beaches is becoming a contentious issue for Coffs Harbour council and the NSW government.
Development on the northern beaches is becoming a contentious issue for Coffs Harbour council and the NSW government.

COASTAL erosion and inundation are topics once again high on the agenda for Coffs Harbour City councillors.

In matters of an urgent nature at Thursday’s meeting, Cr Mark Graham brought up the topic of applications for subdivisions in coastal areas currently up for assessment by the State Government under the Part 3A approvals process.

The council also dug into the matter of the Coffs Harbour Coastal Processes Hazard Definition Study, the subject of a Freedom of Information request by the Jetty Action Group which wants the study of coastal areas susceptible to future flooding released immediately.

Councillors moved to conduct a workshop on the study before it is presented to council

Cr Graham asked that council dedicate all available corporate resources to opposing proposals for subdivisions at South Moonee Forest and North Emerald Beach ‘so as to represent the public interest and specifically to protect these important wetlands and habitat areas and to protect the quality of life of the residents of the Northern Beaches’.

Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades asked what stage the applications were at and whether council had been requested to make a submission.

The acting Director of Land Use Health and Development, Jeff Green, said a 210 lot development at South Moonee Forest was the subject of a Regional Planning Commission Assessment and council staff and the general manager would put forward the council’s position, embodied in the development control plan, that the land was unsuitable for development.

Council’s land use planning manager Clyde Treadwell said the North Emerald Beach land under investigation was outside the identified growth area in the Mid North Coast regional strategy and council staff was meeting the landowner.

“If it is refused under Part 3A, what becomes of the land (at South Moonee Forest)?” asked Cr Bill Palmer.

“What liability does council have?”

The general manager Steve McGrath said he would take the question on notice and it depended if there was a forced acquisition.

Mr Green said if there was a restriction, it would be a Department of Planning decision.

Cr John Arkan asked if staff had had a meeting with the developer of Sandy Shores at Hearnes Lake and Mr Treadwell said there had been a meeting with the landowner in the very early stages and a variety of council officers had met the landowner, agents and consultants.

“Are there any other planned meetings?” Cr Arkan asked.

“I have not got any meetings to my knowledge,” said Cr Rhoades.

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