Service station plan will return to council

A DEFERRED application for a controversial new service station in North Coffs Harbour will return to Coffs Harbour City Council tomorrow after councillors John Arkan, Mark Sultana and Rodney Degens lodged a motion to rescind the deferral.

A majority of the councillors present at the last council meeting on November 28 voted to defer the development application to allow further assessment of the proposed control of stormwater run-off into Fern Tree Creek; alternative methods of disposing of treated discharge from the site; frequency of testing of water quality in the creek; a species impact study and consultation on the impacts of the development on the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

The councillors were concerned that the suggested 20,000 litre stormwater retention tank was too small to prevent spills into the creek during heavy rain.

They were also worried about the adequacy of the proposed bio-retention gardens for disposing of treated discharge before releasing it into the adjacent Fern Tree Creek, a small tributary of Coffs Creek and wanted to see other options investigated, such as discharge into the council's sewerage treatment system.

A number of existing and former service station sites around Coffs Harbour have caused environmental problems.

The site is being developed by Coffs Harbour businessman Kent Lee, who said the proposed service station was a state of the art development with state of the art fuel tanks and the deferral would cause significant costs and delays "for no reason".

Tomorrow's council meeting is the last for 2014.

It has a packed agenda with 34 items up for debate and decision by the councillors. One of those is another deferred item, the planning proposal for the North Boambee Valley (West) investigation area.

Also on the agenda is a planning proposal to change the B5 business zoning for properties within Isles Dr back to an IN1 general industrial zoning and a $2million development application for a three-storey medical centre in Minorca Pl, Toormina.

Other matters on the agenda range from including the port of Coffs Harbour in the shipping network to the results of the latest community engagement regarding cultural facilities and from the City Square design concept plan to the draft Coffs Creek Coastal Zone Management Plan.

After tomorrow's meeting, the next council meeting will be in February.

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