Vision for Coffs Harbour's city centre starts to take shape

A NEW vision for Coffs Harbour's city centre is starting to take shape in the wake of a series of community engagement workshops.

A need to stimulate economic activity in the city centre was an "outtake" of the workshops.

Coffs Harbour City Council is seeking further community input into revitalisation plans as the consultation process continues.

"The community feedback throughout this process has been consistent," the council's director of corporate business, Craig Milburn, said.

"Everyone is telling us they want to see a change in how people live, work and move through the city centre core in order to create a more vibrant hub for the region.

"The workshops were attended by around 150 local residents and their contribution has delivered outputs that have steadily informed the master planning design team.

"The turn out, ideas, consultative process and passion exhibited in these workshops has been outstanding."

The lead urban designer for the project, Stephen Moore, of design consultancy Roberts Day, believes that Coffs city centre as a large regional centre is experiencing symptoms typical of most large cities.

"Cars are given priority over pedestrians," Mr Moore said.

"As a result we do not have an environment that encourages easy pedestrian access to businesses and services.

"People's average walks are interrupted by barriers, often forcing them to back track.

"Car parking dominates the city centre experience and the footpaths look like they are being squeezed by cars.

"There are some obvious strategies that can be adopted to revitalise, without compromising, the city centre experience of Coffs."

The community will be able to see and comment on the master plan proposal from the middle of next month. The Coffs Harbour City Centre Master Plan is being overseen by a working group made up of industry leaders, land owners, council staff and locals.

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