Wow. What a great turn out. We’re guessing 130–140 people seriously unhappy with this proposal.
Despite the appalling weather, and in a village where most people elect to walk (and we may not feel safe doing that for long, right?), that’s a great show of community spirit and opposition to this development application.
It was good to see a representative for Kevin Hogan attend, and thanks to Councillor Mark Sultana for coming along, too. Hopefully other councillors, the Mayor, Denise Knight, and Andrew Fraser might be able to attend our next meeting so they can see first hand the community spirit and determined opposition to this development application. (For the record, councillors John Arkan, Sally Townley, Keith Rhoades, Rod Degens and Deputy Mayor Garry Innes sent their apologies; Andrew Fraser’s office declined; no response to our invitation was received from Mayor Denise Knight.)
Some key points made by the community (in no particular order):
- Get your submission in. At this stage that’s the single most important thing you can do. If you don’t want to see this development proceed, do not sit back and let your one opportunity to effect change pass you by.
- Signing a petition is good, but it’s not enough. You must make a formal submission to Council specifically opposing the development application. (A petition is good, and there is one at the Goodstart Early Learning Centre, and by all means put your name to it. But technically there could be 100,000 signatures on that petition but it still only counts as a single submission.)
- In design, if not in name, the DA presents as a highway service centre, which is specifically prohibited in the current zoning (B2). As presented the proposal meets several of the RMS’s criteria for a highway service centre. It it looks and smells like a highway service centre…
- If your objections to the proposal range farther than the childcare centre — e.g. environmental, traffic, health and wellbeing, community structure — make sure you address those issues, too, in your submission.
- A DA for another childcare centre (in the Moonee Marketplace shopping centre) has been submitted by the same applicant.
- Tell the Council to get with the program. There are several local government areas in NSW that have already adopted development controls that prohibit the co-existence of childcare centres and petrol stations within certain distances. Coffs Harbour should be a leader, not a follower.
- The community is not against all development on the site; it’s the type of development that is inappropriate.
- The Moonee community has challenged — successfully! — other ridiculous development applications.
- Don’t copy-and-paste, or photocopy, or otherwise boilerplate your submission; it should be in your own words, for your own reasons. (But by all means use the information available on this website to help you formulate your ideas.)
- Your submission needs to be sent Gary Cheney (please see the home page for his details). It can be cc’d to individual councillors, or cc’d to all of them, you can cc it to firstname.lastname@example.org if you like. But in the first instance it MUST be sent to Gary Cheney. Don’t send it to a given councillor instead of Gary Cheney. It has to be sent to Gary Cheney. It must also include the DA number/reference, the address of the development, and your name and address. (Again, see the home page.) Without these details your submission may not be considered valid.
- Email or paper is fine. Apparently Council pigeonholes can get pretty full and may not be emptied very regularly. Why not both email and paper?
Feel free to add y0ur own points of view below.
And, at the risk of labouring the point:
The single most important thing is to get your submission of opposition in before the deadline of 15 July, 2016.
Depending on the outcome of Council’s review of the development application, there may be other courses of action. But until then, get your submissions in.