Community-led Planning to Celebrate Local Character

Aerial shot of Woolgoolga.

Ensuring that the unique character of local suburbs and places is reflected in their appearance and vibe will be the aim of a future series of new planning guidelines for key locations.

A ‘Place Manual and Local Character Program’ for the whole of the Coffs Harbour local government area is to be rolled out over the coming years. Park Beach is planned to be the first precinct to have a Place Manual and Local Character Statement after Councillors voted to consider $260,000 for this work in the 2021/22 budget.

“Coffs Harbour City Council has a Precinct-Place Planning Strategy, which focuses on creating great places that are vibrant and that boast a strong sense of community ownership and attachment for residents,” said Sharon Smith, Council’s Section Leader Local Planning.

“Community engagement over a number of years has also underlined the community’s wish to see the development of people-friendly environments, public spaces that really work and neighbourhoods that are designed by and for the people who live there. The Woolgoolga Town Centre Masterplan is a great example.

“In addition, we’ve been consistently building the concept of place character into strategic projects. The Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Plan 2020 and Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020 each contain a 20-year vision and actions relevant to development of local character and place across the local government area via a ‘place-making model’.”

The place-making model promotes the development of Place Manuals – community-led visions that guide growth and change in a specific precinct – and Local Character Statements, short statements to describe an area’s existing unique local character and the local community’s preferences as to how this area can move forward while maintaining its unique character.

Council’s ‘Place Manual and Local Character Program’ aims to:

  • Develop high priority Place Manuals for The Jetty, Park Beach and South Coffs Enterprise Area;
  • Undertake implementation works associated with the City Centre Masterplan, including post-Bypass planning needs, and the Woolgoolga Town Centre Masterplan;
  • Develop medium priority Place Manuals for Sawtell, Moonee Beach, Toormina and West Coffs; and
  • Develop Local Character Statements for all coastal and hinterland villages in the short to medium term.

Funding for the Program for all locations within the Coffs Harbour local government area will be considered in discussions on Council’s future budgets.

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