Forestry building.
Forestry building. Rachel Vercoe

Mixed emotions on Jetty demolition plan

AN application to demolish the former Forestry Corporation buildings in the heart of the Jetty precinct has drawn both praise and criticism.

The Coffs Coast Advocate story in Saturday's edition detailed the plans of the owners of 357 Harbour Dr - a company owned by Gowings Bros - to clear the development site of five buildings.

Documents provided as part of the submission to Coffs Harbour City Council show a heritage assessment was done on the building, but found the original timber facade has been badly damaged through the decades by water leakages and by the aluminium cladding that was screwed to the original boards.

The story drew strong emotions from Coffs Coast locals, some glad to see the pending development of the site, others against the idea.

Christie Rhodess wrote on the Coffs Coast Advocate Facebook page; "Your (sic) going to ruin Coffs with all this developing” however the majority of the comments were positive.

Brynne Goode said; "It's got to look better than what's there now”, while Brigit Mackenzie agreed; "Sounds great. Good to see all this development in Coffs” and Joyful Margaret Anne thought it was about time; "Good riddance, ugly building. The Jetty could be an exciting new area for Coffs.”

Oliver commented on the Coffs Coast Advocate website that it would be good to see development of the precinct go even further.

"Done well, it could be great, but what would be best is to demolish the Jetty Village shops, consolidate that with the Forestry site, and do a mixed-use building with shops and restaurants that's also home to the performance space that Council keeps leaving out of its plans for Gordon St.”

The sentiments were echoed by many commentators.

Mooneerambler said; "Worked there in 1995. Decrepit building then but views to die for. Pity Treasure Island couldn't be demolished and the whole precinct modernised.”

What exactly the plans are for the site remain under wraps, however the Coffs Harbour Development Control Plan (DCP) 2015 seeks to promote buildings within a height of 19m set on a podium that retains light and scale to the street-scape of Harbour Dr. The DCP also seeks to create an active street frontage with zero building setback and awnings along the street for shade and shelter.

What do you think should be constructed on the site? Joint he conversation in the comments below.

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