Construction begins on controversial parking lot

THE controversial upgrade of Woolgoolga's Wharf St was under way this morning as an excavator was seen preparing the area for new car parking spaces.

Coffs Harbour City Council received some backlash last week after the decision was made to chop down two old palm trees in the town centre in order to maintain the number of parking spaces.

After community consultation it was decided The Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park entrance will be relocated from Beach St to Wharf St, which requires the removal of six parking spaces.

In order to maintain the parking spaces Council is relocating the six parking spaces to Wharf St and said they were required to remove the trees, rather than relocate them, due to a nearby sewer main.

Council said moving the palms would have required the excavation of a large hole which would have resulted in costly damage to the sewer main.

"Council responded to community calls for a change to the Holiday Park entrance. As a result, two alternative entrance proposals were exhibited for the Woolgoolga Beach Holiday Park from May 7 2016 to May 22 2016,” a Council spokesperson said.

"In addition to the formal public exhibition, two of Council's senior officers undertook face to face consultation with affected landowners - a total of 25 residential properties on Wharf St and 9 residential properties on Pacific St - and affected businesses (8 tenancies within the shopping complex at 53 Beach St).

”A total of 569 submissions were received by Council in relation to the two alternative entrance proposals. The biggest issue brought up in those submissions was concern over a possible loss of car parking in Wharf St.

"As a result, Council staff were forced to make the decision that the trees would need to be cut down to accommodate the new parking spaces.

"Council would like to emphasise that the decision to remove the palms was taken only after all other options were exhausted.”