A Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and works committee has recommended Coffs City Skydivers be allowed to return to South Grafton aerodrome, dependent on development consents and further legal advice.
A Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and works committee has recommended Coffs City Skydivers be allowed to return to South Grafton aerodrome, dependent on development consents and further legal advice.

Skydivers seek more air time

A COFFS Harbour company aiming to resume skydiving operations at South Grafton Aerodrome has overestimated the support it has in the community, Clarence Valley Mayor Cr Richie Williamson claimed.

At Tuesday's Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and works committee meeting a deputation from Coffs City Skydivers addressed the meeting, outlining the company's proposal to operate from the aerodrome.

During their presentation company representatives Steve and Lawrence Hill said they had the support of the community, a point Cr Williamson contested.

"I am not sure you have absolute community support, there have been noise issues in the past," he said.

However Cr Williamson had no issues with the company operating from the aerodrome, as long as the relevant development consents were issued.

In its presentation the company continued to assert a 2013 report from the council committee running the aerodrome, which damned the skydiving operation for being "smacked of personal agendas".

It said the committee lacked the technical expertise to manage such an operation and instead offered its services.

They pointed out CCS safely runs its operations at Coffs Harbour from an airport handling more than 20,000 aircraft movements a year, compared to the small number at the South Grafton Aerodrome.

The company also questioned council figures of $6000 and $20,000-$30,000 for legal fees, claiming it had access to similar information at much less cost.

The committee recommended the council allow skydiving to return to the aerodrome, dependent on development consents and further legal advice.



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