The Coffs Coast Advocate has been following the issue closely for years.
The Coffs Coast Advocate has been following the issue closely for years.

Why DA was approved: planning dept outlines the process

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has explained why it approved the DA for the Cultural and Civic Space.

The $76.5m Cultural and Civic Space will be constructed at 23-31 Gordon Street.

RELATED: Finally, a decision on Cultural and Civic Space DA

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Executive Director of Regions, Industry and Key Sites Anthea Sargeant said the application to build and operate the four to seven-storey building was approved following rigorous assessment and consideration of community feedback.

Coffs Harbour City Council Gallery and Museum Curator Jo Besley is passionate about the vision for the Cultural and Civic Space. From the car park she shows how the new building will look into the Riding Lane fig tree which will remain as a central focus. Photo by Janine Watson
Coffs Harbour City Council Gallery and Museum Curator Jo Besley is passionate about the vision for the Cultural and Civic Space. From the car park she shows how the new building will look into the Riding Lane fig tree which will remain as a central focus. Photo by Janine Watson

Ms Sargeant says the decision was made following a detailed economic analysis of the proposal and consideration from Council of other potential locations.

"Construction of the new space will create 555 construction jobs and 31 additional operational jobs while injecting $76.5 million into the economy," Ms Sargeant said.

"We have carefully considered the proposal in light of feedback from the community. From a planning and land-use perspective, the proposal is acceptable as it fully complies with existing planning rules on the site and it would not result in any significant amenity or visual impacts on the surrounding area."

The Department understands the community's concerns about the cost of the proposal, but say ultimately it's a matter for council to consider.

"We did however carefully consider the potential economic impacts on the local area and found it's unlikely to result in any significant impacts."

Cultural and Civic Space
Cultural and Civic Space Wendy Andrews

Ms Sargeant referred to the improved public spaces, including a link connecting Gordon Street and Riding Lane, as well as a new public square.

"The new regional gallery will have more than three times the space of the current gallery, while the new library will be three times as big as the existing library and the regional museum will double in size," Ms Sargeant said.

A number of conditions have been imposed on the project to ensure any potential impacts are appropriately managed, including ensuring machinery on the roof is blocked from view, preparation of a traffic management plan and preparation of a flood action plan.

For more information visit the NSW Government's www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au



What a whopper: ‘It took my breath away’

Premium Content What a whopper: ‘It took my breath away’

“Well I didn’t soil myself but it definitely took my breath away.”

Baby death: Court docs reveal disturbing allegations

Premium Content Baby death: Court docs reveal disturbing allegations

Court docs reveal further details on case against Mid North Coast dad

Plane tragedy: Investigation reveals cause of Coffs crash

Premium Content Plane tragedy: Investigation reveals cause of Coffs crash

The crash west of Coffs killed a pilot and his son in 2019 – now the investigation...