Council moves for balance in Crescent Head

Kempsey Shire Council

An architect render of the potential Crescent Head CBD

A better balance between people parking and nature was the common goal on Tuesday as Kempsey Shire Council re-examined plans for the Crescent Head foreshore and carpark.

At Tuesday’s ordinary meeting of Council, following a presentation from Crescent Head community members at Monday’s Public Forum and the tabling of a petition signed by thousands of community members, Councillors worked to articulate a path forward on an issue that has been the subject of much debate.

They resolved to request staff to refine the current concept plans to provide additional parking options that include foreshore parking, while maintaining the greenspace principles of the existing plans.

Councillors acknowledged this critical area presents a huge challenge to deliver a holistic plan that balances public infrastructure, green space and vehicle access to a world-renowned surfing break.

Kempsey Shire Mayor, Liz Campbell, said she regretted the division the debate had fostered in the Crescent Head community.

“The residents of Crescent Head have proven once again how passionate they are about their local environment and village,” said Cr Campbell.

“This decision reflects the best parts of our local government system where Councillors can talk directly to those impacted by decisions, hear their responses and act accordingly. Crescent Head is a unique space and we need to ensure our plans make space for everyone.”

In October 2020 Council staff presented a Public Domain Project that included design options for Crescent Head CBD and foreshore following extensive community engagement, stakeholder negotiation and professional consultation, all of which was commended by Council.

At that time Council approved the Public Domain Project including designs for Little Nobby, Muddy Arm and CBD improvements and gave an “in principle” support for the Option A foreshore design.

Council acknowledged at this week’s meeting that there was considerable confusion among the community and some Councillors as to the meaning of the October meeting and resolved to use the Option A plan as the starting point for further refinement.

New plans will be presented back to a future Council meeting for adoption prior to seeking grant funding and delivery.

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