Community concern halts Coffs Harbour Nursery expansion plans

Expansion plans for Coffs Harbour Nursery have been put on hold following Council and local resident concern over traffic issues. Photo: Emma Darbin.


PLANS to expand Coffs Harbour Nursery at Sapphire Beach have been put on hold following Council and community concern.

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Coffs Harbour Nursery, located on Wakelands Road, Sapphire Beach recently lodged a development application with Coffs Harbour City Council for a plant nursery, landscaping material supplies and a cafe.

Council staff had recommended approval of the development application, subject to conditions, at Council’s recent ordinary meeting on Thursday 27 August.

However, Cr Sally Townley moved an alternate recommendation at the meeting to defer approval of the expansion plans for the nursery, until Council investigates the feasibility of alternate access to the nursery via Solitary Islands Way.

Sapphire Beach residents John Widdowson and Barb Wenman spoke against the development application via emailed submissions to the Council meeting, and stated their concerns over safety issues at the nursery’s entrance, traffic concerns, pollution from chemicals, odour issues, water contamination, detrimental long term health effects, chemical and pesticide spray drift, the attraction of vermin and vectors, combustible materials (compost) and noise concerns.

Cr Townley said the nursery had grown considerably since its original 2017 development application was lodged with Council, and she expressed her concern over the increase in traffic at the location.

“If the business continues to expand, who knows what the traffic volume might be,” Cr Townley said.

“One thing people are really concerned about is the impact of traffic.

“It’s about balancing the needs of the owner, but we also need to balance the needs of the objectors, and they are very real concerns about the impact of traffic on that intersection.”

Cr Tegan Swan agreed with the concern over traffic issues at the nursery site, and called for a traffic study to be undertaken by Council to investigate an alternate access site to the nursery off Solitary Islands Way.

“It would be very beneficial to do a traffic study,” Cr Swan said.

“Wakelands Road is currently used more than that section of Solitary Islands Way.”

“Wakelands Road is a very busy road.”

Cr Swan said Council had a basis to request the RMS to install an intersection on Solitary Islands Way for entry to the nursery.

Following much discussion, councillors resolved to defer consideration of the nursery development application for a plant nursery, landscaping material supplies and a cafe at the site, and that Council (in liaison with the RMS and Traffic Committee) complete a comprehensive investigation into the feasibility of using Solitary Islands Way as the primary access for the site.

This investigation is to be reported back to Council and is to include a comparison of all alternatives, together with actual and projected traffic volumes.

All councillors voted for this alternate recommendation by Council.



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