Controversial Emerald Beach development back before council

FOR almost 30 years an Emerald Beach property owner has been trying to develop a patch of coastal land north of town but has faced fierce opposition from some locals who say the fragile strip should be conserved.

The matter will once again be up for consideration at this Thursday's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

Paul Reid owns the 29.7 hectare site between the beach and Solitary Islands Way. His previous attempts to build a 39-lot subdivision on the land was rejected by Coffs Harbour City Council in March 2015 and upheld by the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Now he is hoping to build a large two-storey home approximately 150 metres from the water and the proposal was up for consideration at council's June 13 meeting.

A number of issues have been identified during the assessment process including biodiversity impacts and flooding and coastal processes.

Councillors were not able to reach a decision at their last meeting; instead deferring the matter pending a detailed briefing to councillors.

This briefing was held on July 15 and the matter will once again be up for consideration with a report from senior council staff recommending it be approved.

 

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Year round regional athletics centre

Councillor Sally Townley will move a motion supporting the establishment of a permanent year round Regional Athletics Centre.

It will consist of an international standard 400m multi-lane (minimum of eight) all weather synthetic-surfaced track and field facility to service Coffs Harbour and the surrounding area and for the overall benefit of the North Coast Region.

"The athletics community is increasingly seeking access to competition grade all weather athletics track facilities. Currently the closest such facilities are Newcastle and Gold Coast," Cr Townley said.

Current planning suggests York St as the preferred venue, though it is acknowledged this is many years away and depended on future location of a current football club homed there.

While there is no expectation of council funding such a facility, if the community was successful in receiving State or Federal funding, a suitable site would need to be agreed prior to seeking any such funding.

 

Infrastructure grants program

Councillors will determine which projects will receive Capital Infrastructure Grants.

Council's 2019/20 Operational Plan allocates an amount of $327,800 for the Community Capital Infrastructure Grant Program to fund community infrastructure projects. Council sought applications from not-for-profit organisations seeking to construct new public facilities or to refurbish existing infrastructure.

A total of 17 projects, from the construction of a new balcony for the Sawtell Life Saving Club through to the installation of a water bubbler at Bonville Headland, will be considered by councillors on Thursday evening.