City Hall sale on hold

A RECOMMENDATION to sell the lower section of City Hill was rejected at Thursday night's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

Coffs Harbour's arts and cultural community was concerned that selling off the land would push back the possibility of an arts and cultural centre being built.

Among a series of recommendations, Cr Kerry Hines moved for the disposal of the lower section of City Hill to be removed from the Future Major Civic Infrastructure plans.

"I believe it will be a negative for the city, both economically and culturally," Cr Hines said.

Coffs Harbour Mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, spoke passionately in favour of Cr Hines' amendment.

"That is the site in my mind.

"It should be remaining in the mix for possible investigation," Cr Rhoades said.

In October 2010, council voted to quarantine the City Hill site as the future site for a performance space and develop a master plan for its overall use.

It had been hoped the removal of the quarantine would help the recently-introduced CBD Master Plan committee openly advise council about the best site for an entertainment centre, without being locked into a City Hill location.

President of the Coffs Harbour Arts Council, David Quinn, said the decision to keep the site was a pleasing one for the local arts and cultural community.

"It means that we've got more options," Mr Quinn said.

"If we don't go with an entertainment centre there we've still got a lot of other cultural uses we can find for it in the future."

The council did however decide to sell off land at 23-31 Gordon St.

That sale was part of the Savills Project Management recommendations and the motion to sell attracted very little discussion during Thursday's short meeting.

The sale of this land will allow some much-needed cash to find its way into council's budget.

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