Editorial - April 13: Coffs could rise to grand new heights

NEWS of Gowing Bros' proposed $20 million redevelopment of Coffs Central to include a high level hotel will be considered by many an exciting prospect for Coffs Harbour.

Such a grand investment perhaps offers a glimpse to the future of the Coffs Coast, which is widely forecast to grow into a regional centre on a scale of say Newcastle over the next two decades.

Confirmation that a development application has been lodged for the redevelopment has not only signalled Gowings Bros' plans for its city centre retail holding, but it's also laid out the big picture for the wider community as far as the council's recent plans to build a road through Pioneer Park.

While the city centre traffic plan has been perhaps the most topical issue concerning Coffs Harbour this year, the public can now see why moves have been needed to alleviate traffic congestion in the city centre from a town planning perspective.

On face value, a high rise hotel would allow visitors, staying in Coffs Harbour for business and holidays, the opportunity to stay in the heart of the city within walking distance to local business, clubs and hotels.

It's very much early days however, with the DA either set to pass through the council's own approval processes or those of the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

No matter the outcome, news of this development application is a vote in the confidence of Coffs Harbour, made by one of New South Wales long-standing investment companies.

Gowings Bros, with 147 years of investment history, was among the founding investors in Woolworths in Australia.

Publicly listed on the stock exchange, it holds vast retail holdings, including Coffs Central, Port Central and Moonee Beach Shopping Centre.

In coming months, we expect this story to continue to dominate the headlines so we welcome your thoughts on development.

Matt Deans,

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