An artist’s impression of the Coffs Habrour Airport Enterprise Park.
An artist’s impression of the Coffs Habrour Airport Enterprise Park.

Council rushed to complete business park development

COFFS Harbour City Council has been forced to significantly speed up its $25m Airport Enterprise Park development, in order to meet the requirements of a federal funding grant.

Following the acceptance of the $10m grant, the 95-lot business precinct must now be scheduled for completion by April 2022.

As voted by councillors unanimously at last week’s meeting, the council will skip the tender process for the detailed design of the next stage of the development.

Councillors instead voted to again use the services of local engineering firm de Groot & Benson, who worked on the initial stages of the development including the development application and detailed design of portion 1.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Mayor Cr Denise Knight at the sod-turning of the Enterprise Park earlier this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Mayor Cr Denise Knight at the sod-turning of the Enterprise Park earlier this year.

In a report presented to councillors, it was stated the tender process would take at least two months and advised against it.

The design for portion 1, which includes 24 lots, has cost $369,162 to date.

Portion 2, which includes 54 lots, is proposed to cost between $372,273-$542,273.

Meanwhile council is currently preparing a potential long-term lease of the airport and Enterprise Park development to a private operator, in order to access aviation expertise and investment.

Former airport manager Dennis Martin, who has recently retired, said council was initially going to develop the park over several stages across 8-10 years, however these plans were held off as the potential lease progressed.

At this stage infrastructure works have been completed including water, sewerage, power, drainage and flood mitigation works.

A large retaining wall has been constructed as part of this.

It is hoped the Enterprise Park will draw in new employment and businesses into the region, particularly I. T-related businesses, data centres, distribution centres and aviation-related businesses.