PROGRESS: Property developer Robert Yandell from Moonee Beach at his Nambucca development.
PROGRESS: Property developer Robert Yandell from Moonee Beach at his Nambucca development. Contributed

Incentives don't go far enough says frustrated developer

MORE needs to be done to encourage developers to do business in Coffs Harbour says Moonee Beach man Robert Yandell.

He was responding to the news Coffs Harbour City Council will consider waiving a number of development contributions in order to activate residential development in the CBD.

"But it's not going far enough. Like capping it at $2.5 million - it should be at least $5 million and give developers the opportunity to build some real projects in town."

He would love to see Coffs Harbour become a vibrant city.

"We're a city aren't we? And all vibrant cities have people living in them."

He commends the council for considering a range of options to revitalise the CBD, including increasing height limits from 17m to 44m, but again he said this was not going far enough.

"The height limits are too low - personally in my view height allows you to utilise land much better," he said.

While the recent proposals relate to the CBD in particular, he sees a problem with the regulations governing development across the entire local government area.

Mr Yandell worked as a lawyer in Sydney before retiring to the Coffs Coast where he has embarked on a number of property developments.

He was involved in the Elements subdivision off Stadium Dr but says he has been frustrated in his dealings with the Coffs Harbour City Council and instead has been dealing with Nambucca Shire Council where he is behind the 21-lot Forest Heights Estate.

He said Nambucca Shire Council had agreed to allow him to pay the various development contributions as the blocks are sold rather than up front in one large chunk.

A representative from Coffs Harbour City Council says developers in this local government area are able to pay contributions by way of a formalised deferred contributions policy.

The policy requires the developer to provide a bank guarantee for the deferred funds they will eventually have to pay.

The spokeswoman also referred to the option of staged development - in which developers could apply to sub-divide their land into different, smaller stages for which they pay developer contributions as the lots are released.

But Mr Yandell does not consider this a viable option.

"To release one lot at a time would be an administrative nightmare, very costly and would clog up the council's planning department. It can be done without a specific council approval so is not really a benefit bestowed by council," he said.