HAPPY WITH THE VOTE: Anthony Cougle has been given the green light.
HAPPY WITH THE VOTE: Anthony Cougle has been given the green light.

$10m to be pumped into economy says developer

IT was third time lucky for a controversial development at tonight's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

Anthony Cougle is the developer behind the Moonee Beach proposal which will see 29 self-contained dwellings specifically for seniors, and six separate dwellings plus one exhibition home.

The seniors' subdivision had prior approval, but when an adjoining lot became available Cougle Investments secured this through auction, and added to their plans.

He prepared a statement which was read aloud as there is still no public gallery facility due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For the first time in over a month Councillors and senior staff were together again in person in chambers, but observing social distancing protocols.

Mr Cougle spoke of his family's track record for quality developments. He and his brothers Danny and Dean, and now a third generation, are carrying on the company Cougle Investments established by Anthony's father who passed away two years ago.

He stressed the need for shovel-ready developments to help kick-start the economy post pandemic.

"Our family has been receiving regular calls from local builders whose pipeline of work is running dry," Mr Cougle said.

"The Federal Government is handing out buckets of money to stimulate the building sector post-COVID. Our development in the construction stage will pump $10 million into the local economy."

The proposal includes 29 self-contained dwellings for seniors housing
The proposal includes 29 self-contained dwellings for seniors housing Trevor Veale

The proposal has been knocked back twice before by Councillors and once again Cr Sally Townley argued that Anchorage Close is not suitable to handle such a development.

"We have considered this a couple of times and we refused it a couple of times so I am a bit surprised about the change in approach, because there are no changes in the application or any of the facts."

When the application was refused last time Mr Cougle vowed he would lodge a request for a review without making any changes.

Cr Tegan Swan also argued to refuse the development once again echoing concerns about the safety of the crossing for elderly residents from the development through to Moonee Market.

"If we keep making decision based on 'is it good enough' all we are doing is setting ourselves up again and again for problems in the future and we're seeing that now in Woolgoolga."

Last time the proposal was put to the vote Councillors John Arkan, Tegan Swan, Sally Townley and Mayor Denise Knight voted to deny the application while Crs Michael Adendorff, Paul Amos, George Cecato and Keith Rhoades wanted to see it approved.

With votes tied Mayor Knight chose to use her casting vote to progress the motion to deny the DA.

But tonight Mayor Denise Knight and Crs Townley and Swan were outnumbered.

Crs John Arkan, Michael Adendorff, Paul Amos, George Cecato and Keith Rhoades joined forces to push the development through.