More sought for motor inn

COUNCILLORS Rodney Degens and Paul Templeton lodged a notice of motion last week asking Coffs Harbour City Council to change its stance on the planning rules applying to the Midway Motor Inn site.

The owners want to redevelop the 8535sq m site for commercial and tourist use. Their masterplan includes 5500sq m of office and commercial space, serviced apartments, a function centre and restaurant.

The level of development proposed on the site exceeds what is permitted under the B6 zoning for the site as part of the new Coffs Harbour City Centre local environment plan and development control plan.

Chris Bramley, the project manager for Midway owners B&H Group, said they wanted the same rules applied to their site as have been applied to the State Government site on the corner of Beryl St and the Pacific Highway. This is the site proposed for relocation of the Coffs Harbour Police Station and Courthouse, although no development application is in place.

It has also been suggested as the site for a state office block, a proposal which is not favoured by Coffs Harbour City Council.

Council’s manager of land use planning Clyde Treadwell said the Midway site had different constraints to the Beryl St site, including the Midway site being bushfire prone and flood affected as well as close to the margins of the Solitary Islands Marine Park through its Coffs Creek location, whereas the government site did not have those constraints.

Mr Treadwell said the draft plan for the Beryl St site had been amended to reflect a public administration building, while other proposed uses for the site were permitted under the infrastructure state environmental planning policy.

Mr Treadwell said the owners of the Midway Motor Inn had been talking to council staff about redevelopment of the site for tourism and motel purposes for some years.

But he said the current masterplan, with its offices component, had only been given to the council in the latter part of 2010, when the Coffs Harbour City Centre LEP went on public exhibition from August to October.

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