Several Coffs Harbour CBD shops sit empty. Photo: Janine Watson
Several Coffs Harbour CBD shops sit empty. Photo: Janine Watson

Coffs CBD in desperate need of a boost right now

THIS letter writer believes the Cultural and Civic Space will bring a much-needed boost to the Coffs Harbour CBD.

There are currently several shopfronts with 'for lease' or 'closed' signs on their windows.

The development application for the $76.5m project was recently approved.

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Despite the approval, sections of the community remain vehemently opposed and Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh has called for a halt to the project.

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All Welcome_ Coffs Harbour’s Cultural and Civic Space: The development application for the Cultural and Civic Space has been approved.
All Welcome_ Coffs Harbour’s Cultural and Civic Space: The development application for the Cultural and Civic Space has been approved.

Project is the boost our CBD needs right now

Over thirty shopfronts in the Coffs Harbour CBD have 'For Lease' signs displayed in recent times.

This situation even existed prior to the impact of Covid-19 earlier in the year. With the CBD needing a boost, we are fortunate to have the new Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Centre ready to begin construction.

Several Coffs Harbour CBD shops sit empty.
Several Coffs Harbour CBD shops sit empty.

This is a project that is both visionary and grounded.

The centre is designed to meet objectively assessed needs of the learning, cultural and civic community, now and into the future, and it will bring together into one building the major elements of the civic and cultural life of the community.

Clearly a great deal of conceptual thought and careful detailed professional planning has gone into the award-winning design of this building.

The multipurpose civic and meeting space, public meeting and study rooms and community event spaces incorporated in the building should prove to be extremely valuable. The background analysis and documentation by the Coffs Harbour City Council has been extremely thorough.

This building will be one for the community to be proud of.

The centre is located centrally meaning many Coffs Harbour residents live within walking distance of the site. This number will increase as the inner city area becomes more residentially dense.

A walkable city is a desirable planning objective for a city. For those not within walking distance, the abundance of nearby parking means you can park once and walk to everything. As well, existing bus routes already deliver people to the city centre.

The central location also means that there are thirty daytime cafes or restaurants within five minutes' walk of the site.

Coffs Harbour should aim to have excellent cultural and civic facilities and not just attempt to make do with inadequate ones.

There has never been a better time to launch a major city infrastructure project such as this one with the cost of finance currently at an lowest.

John Gray

Coffs Harbour