Catholic Church explains move to drop $21.5m high rise plan
UPDATE: The Catholic Church has issued a statement explaining their decision to drop plans for a $21.5m block of flats in Woolgoolga.
"The Coffs Harbour Parish has listened and responded to community feedback and has withdrawn its development application (DA) for a residential flat development at 5-13 Hastings Street, Woolgoolga," a parish spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the Catholic Church has a mission to bring communities together and the Coffs Harbour Parish recognises this can be better achieved by re-evaluating its plans for this property.
"The parish acknowledged that a number of current DAs have caused division in the Woolgoolga community, and does not wish to compound that division.
"Coffs Harbour Parish has withdrawn the DA from both Coffs Harbour City Council and the Joint Regional Planning Panel."
The Catholic Church has withdrawn their development application for a $21.5m high-rise apartment complex at Woolgoolga.
The 52-units were proposed for Hastings St across the road from the recently rebuilt First Sikh Temple.
The plan generated some strong opposition in the community with letter box drops, a petition, and lobbying of Councillors to reject it.
It was one of several high density developments proposed for the seaside village.
But it was revealed at tonight's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting that the proposal has now been withdrawn.
It came out of the blue considering the church had recently applied to bypass Council and take the matter up with the Northern Regional Planning Panel to have it determined.
The development application was first lodged with Council on September 20 and in May this year Council deferred a decision on the matter; putting the proposal out for another round of public consultation.
At their recent Council meeting Cr Paul Amos warned the town could become a "ghetto" and raised the alarm in relation to its proximity to the soon-to-be-open Grafton jail which will be the biggest in Australia.
Councillor Sally Townley welcomed the news tonight that the proposal had now been withdrawn.
"The withdrawal of the Church's DA will be of great interest to the community.
"There was a high level of concern over the building heights being above the allowed level, as well as being much higher than building heights agreed to within the Woolgoolga Town Centre Master Plan," Dr Townley said.
"Hopefully any future DA will be aligned with community expectations."