Coffs Harbour City Council's property department is looking at how it could reduce outdoor dining fees while city centre construction was happening.
Coffs Harbour City Council's property department is looking at how it could reduce outdoor dining fees while city centre construction was happening. Trevor Veale

Fee relief on cards for CBD outdoor cafes

BUSINESSES directly affected by next year's city centre revamp may receive some relief, councillors decided this week.

On Thursday, councillor John Arkan successfully moved for the council to consider removing outdoor dining charges from businesses in high stress areas and for a report giving greater detail to be brought back to the councillors .

The CBD is shortly to be the focus of roadwork, new traffic lights, pavement reconstruction and the refurbishment of City Square.

The council's general manager, Steve McGrath, said the property department was looking at how it could reduce fees while construction was happening, but these were commercial enterprises operating on public land.

Councillor Bob Palmer opposed Cr Arkan's move, saying the proposed work in the CBD would affect the whole area and he was concerned the council could be opening itself to claims for compensation.

"We (would be) choosing one group of business people and imposing an impost on other business people," Cr Palmer said.

Director of sustainable infrastructure Mick Raby said it was the council's normal practice to take all available measures to mitigate the impacts of construction work and allow people access.

He said these measures would include a maximum amount of night work and completing the project in sections, but he said people who leased areas from landlords would be hard-pressed to get any discount.

Mr Raby said the proposed report would probably answer many of the councillors' questions in terms of what the council was actually proposing.



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