‘Unconscionable’ Gooley slams Park Beach contribution plan
DEVELOPMENT in the Park Beach area is forging ahead, prompting Council to consider adopting a new contributions plan for the precinct.
One of the major developments underway is the $150m Shoreline at Park Beach retirement village and aged care centre being developed by the Bachrach Naumburger Group.
Managing Director Steve Gooley addressed Coffs Harbour City Councillors on Thursday evening via a written statement.
He urged Councillors to reject the new contributions plan and warned Council would be vulnerable to court action if it was adopted.
"I asked, and was refused, to make a public address. This denies a balanced and properly considered discussion," Mr Gooley outlined in his written statement
"A two-page submission doesn't allow me to outline the injustice in this plan."
A report before Councillors on Thursday evening outlined the various objections received when the plan was put on public exhibition.
"I have read many council reports in my twenty years in Coffs Harbour and this is the most misleading and dismissive of the objections."
The new plan outlines an expanded 'footprint' under which the new fees would apply.
The proposed increase, as outlined in the staff report, is 12.4 per cent but Mr Gooley says this is based on false accounting and is more like 70 per cent.
"It would be unconscionable and jeopardises our ability to develop site."
Mr Gooley says his company has gone above and beyond in relation to contributions - constructing bus stops, a footpath from Shoreline to Park Beach Plaza and extra street lighting.
"We are not asking for a relaxation in contributions but asking to keep them at the current affordable levels."
Instead of voting on whether or not to adopt the new contribution plan, Cr George Cecato raised an alternative motion to defer the matter to allow for further briefings on the matter.
"I have struggled to understand the technical information supplied to us. This is in no way an inference that staff haven't done their job; it is myself not understanding the information in front of me.
"We need more face-to-face discussion, and to ask many many questions. I don't like to make policies on the run."
This led discussion back to Mr Gooley's frustration expressed earlier about being unable to address Councillors due to Covid restrictions.
Cr Rhoades echoed these concerns.
"All of us are being denied the opportunity to ask questions and maybe here tonight Councillor Cecato could have asked questions, received answers, and be able to make a decision."
Council staff will also look into options to allow greater interaction, within current guidelines, with members of the public making submissions at Council meetings.