The 52-unit housing development is proposed for Hastings Street, Woolgoolga near the Woolgoolga Public School and across the road from the newly built Sikh Temple.
The 52-unit housing development is proposed for Hastings Street, Woolgoolga near the Woolgoolga Public School and across the road from the newly built Sikh Temple.

Developer stretches the friendship on height limits

A DECISION on a controversial 52-unit development will be delayed to allow for another round of community consultation.

The proposal from the Roman Catholic Church, Lismore Diocese, is for a block of land on Hastings St, Woolgoolga, across the road from the First Sikh Temple.

The 52 units would be constructed within four separate buildings. Two of the blocks have frontage to Hastings Street and contain five levels. The remaining two are located at the rear and contain three levels.

The estimated cost of the work is $21,500,000.

Car parking is provided through basement carparks with 70 spaces.

A single storey weatherboard dwelling located on the site would be demolished.

One of the main concerns about the development is the height with the applicant seeking to vary the height standard of the Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 to allow it.

The current limit on height in that area is 15.5m. The applicant has argued that due to a number of factors, including the low lying nature of the site and the fact the variation will be relatively minor (an additional 2.7m higher at the most), it should be approved.

The 52 units would be constructed within four separate buildings. Two of the blocks have frontage to Hastings Street and contain five levels.
The 52 units would be constructed within four separate buildings. Two of the blocks have frontage to Hastings Street and contain five levels.

Ray Willing, president of the Northern Beaches Residents Association addressed Councillors at their recent meeting urging them to defer the matter rather than vote on the staff recommendation before them which was to approve it.

"Considering during the time frame originally provided for public consultation the community was distracted by fires, drought and flood and both Woolgoolga Public School and its Parents and Citizens were not consulted at all, let alone especially about road safety issues," Mr Willing said.

Only one submission was received when the application was first put on public exhibition.

The Northern Beaches Residents Association has also expressed frustration at the time taken to adopt the Woolgoolga Town Centre Master Plan.

They fear a number of high density developments like this one could be pushed through before the plan, which enshrines the town's unique coastal character, is adopted.

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Rather than approving the development Councillors Sally Townley and Tegan Swan put forward an alternative motion to defer the matter and carry out a second round of public consultation.

Cr John Arkan who owns a property in nearby River Street declared a 'non significant' conflict of interest but still participated in the vote. He was keen to move ahead and approve the recommendation from staff to approve the development.

"It's not what John wants it's what the law says. Let's get on with the motion and approve it."

Ultimately the motion to delay the decision and carry out another round of public consultation was put to the vote and supported by the majority of councillors.