Councillors call to reinstate North Boambee Valley land in Council Plan

Coffs Harbour City councillors are calling on the NSW Government to reinstate flood prone land in the Englands Road, North Boambee Valley area as ‘employment lands’ in the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy. Photo: Emma Darbin.


COFFS Harbour City Councillors have resolved to retain North Boambee Valley land as an investigation area for potential future industrial development, despite NSW Government recommendations not to.

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Council moved at its recent ordinary meeting on Thursday, 8 October to adopt the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy-Chapter 8 Employment Lands and Chapter 9 Resources, subject to retaining the North Boambee Valley West investigation area.

To adopt the updated Growth Map for Woolgoolga South West within Chapter 4-Compact City Program of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy to include a small area to the south as an investigation area, and to seek endorsement from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy-Chapter 8 Employment Lands, updated to retain the North Boambee Valley West investigation area and the updated map.

Council will also notify those who made a submission during public exhibition of the documents of its decision.

The recent motion by Cr John Arkan was narrowly carried four votes to three with Cr Keith Rhodes, Cr George Cecato, Cr John Arkan and Cr Michael Adendorff voting for the motion, and Cr Paul Amos, Cr Sally Townley and Cr Denise Knight voting against.

The Employment Lands Chapter of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy states, “the North Boambee Valley area, along Englands Road, has long been identified as a potential land release area for industrial use, which could provide approximately 13 hectares across 85 lots for industrial uses”.

“However, the investigation area is significantly constrained by flood hazard and the NSW Government has advised it should no longer be considered as an employment precinct investigation area,” the report stated.

Cr Arkan said that Council needed to allow those lands “not to be sterilised”.

“Where else are we going to put industrial land in Coffs?” Cr Arkan asked.

“Where do we go with these industries and these businesses?

“As a City we have to allow particular areas of growth.”

Cr Townley said there were “some very solid reasons why some of those areas are better off left out” of the Plan.

“It’s a combination of geography and our location in relation to the Pacific Highway, and where existing urban areas are and the flood prone nature of some areas that it just means we are always going to be limited in that supply,” Cr Townley said.

“Some of our neighbouring local government areas have a lot of supply of this kind of land, like Macksville and Nambucca.

“I don’t think we can be all things to all people, and our specialty is probably rather more in that kind of residential, agricultural pursuits rather than thinking we can provide large offerings of industrial land.”

Cr Amos said Council needed to find more industrial land.

“There could be land at Bucca, there could be land at Bonville, there could be land at Coramba, but we need to make it happen, we need more industrial land,” Cr Amos said.

“Accepting our employment lands as it is means that we will be accepting the idea that Grafton and Nambucca will supply all our industrial lands into the future.

“I can’t support the concept of Grafton and Nambucca, Macksville supplying us with industrial land.”

Council senior staff at the recent meeting stated that the industrial land supply at Woolgoolga and in front of the Airport Enterprise Park will meet the demands of the City for the next twenty years.

The draft Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy-Chapter 8 Employment Lands and the Coffs Harbour Employment Lands Background Report were placed on public exhibition from April to June, 2020.

This chapter (and associated background report) provide a strategic approach to the sustainable delivery of employment land within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area over the next twenty years.

Part of the report was amended by Council following community feedback, with four Government agencies making submissions and nine public submissions received.

Employment lands relate to industrial or business zoned land within the Coffs Harbour LGA.



One thought on “Councillors call to reinstate North Boambee Valley land in Council Plan

  1. We looked at investing at the airport enterprise Park and were told their preference was for “airport related” industries and we could not purchase a block, only lease it. We are now looking at moving our business out of the Coffs council area after 26 plus years here due to a total loss of confidence in the area’s future.

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