A Little History
The Moonee Beach Action Group first united in response to a proposal by Gowings Bros to build a 24-hour service station and fast food outlet in the heart of the local village.
In rallying the local community, the development application received one of highest number of objections that the Coffs Harbour Council has ever seen, and the development was unanimously voted against by Council. The major issues cited were:
Proximity to the neighbouring childcare centre
The proposed service centre was adjacent to an existing childcare centre. This posed serious health and safety issues for the children and staff within the centre.
Unacceptable increase in traffic
Moonee Beach is a small community with only one entrance/exit to and from the village. The proposed service centre would attract traffic from the Pacific Motorway in numbers that the existing road system just couldn't cope with.
Many aspects of the submitted development application contravened or ignored aspects of the zone's LGA and DCP planning tools.
Poor community 'fit'
The proposed development did not meet the standard of a community 'need' and failed to add value or otherwise be of real benefit to the community.
The local community was overwhelmingly opposed to the development
There were many other issues cited including environmental concerns (the heart of Moonee is a protected estuary that runs into the Solitary Islands Marine Park); economic concerns (that last available commercial space in Moonee would be given over to multi-national concerns, with little economic benefit for the local economy); visual and noise pollution concerns; and concerns for neighbourhood safety.
Moonee Says No
The Moonee Beach Action Group organised a tight program of opposition called, simply, "Moonee Says No". This included free corflute signs for residents to display (thanks to Wayne at Cooee Graphics); the "I See Red" campaign whereby residents tied red ribbons or similar to their street frontages in a show of community solidarity; and regular newsletters highlighting concerns and reporting on the state of play.
The result was a united community determined to stand against a development they simply did not want.
Moonee Still Says No
Having been unanimously voted against, the developer appealed the decision of Council and has taken the development application to the New South Wales Land and Environment Court. Such an appeal runs against the decision of Council and against the desires of the local community. Go figure.
The first part of the appeal process is a conciliation conference, where parties present their case to a commissioner of the Court and attempt to find common ground. The conciliation conference was staged in early November, 2018, but no agreement was arrived at.
The next part in the process is presenting to the NSW Land and Environment Court. This is schedules for July, 2019 (TBC).
Watch this space
The next event in the life of DA application 0824/16DA is scheduled for early-mid July, 2019. This is when the community and Council (and Gowings) will present their respective cases to the Land and Environment Court.
This will be held on-site at the corner of Moonee Beach Road and Sullivans Road.
Moonee Beach Action Group will keep residents and friends up-to-date with any developments regarding this DA via neighbourhood newsletters, Facebook, this website and our digital newsletter.
Thanks to all those who have supported the community and Council in our endeavours to pursue our community interests in our community.
A little reorganising or this site
History, documents and other materials relating to a specific issue can now be accessed via the main menu. Other issues that affect the Moonee community will similarly have their own menu item added as they develop. Hopefully this aids navigation and context.