An open letter to CHCC councillors about the 24 hour Toormina ‘Maccas’ DA on tonight’s agenda.

As a resident of the Toormina/Sawtell area for most of the last 30 years I implore you to vote against the DA to build the McDonalds take away food outlet in Toormina for the following reasons.

By Ann Leonard

There is absolutely no need for this commercial enterprise. McDonalds exists in a far more suitable accessible and high traffic area just a few minutes from this location.

Toormina Gardens Shopping Centre is located in a purely residential area with absolute minimal through traffic.

The amenity of this residential precinct will be completely altered if this DA is approved. The socio economic mix of this community includes a large population of economic and socially disadvantaged families with children including indigenous families.

There will be no economic or social uplift to these families by the building of this facility.

A visit to the nearby McDonalds Coffs Harbour South on any night after 7pm will give some indication of what it could bring.Traffic flows in and out of the Toormina Gardens precinct are highly compromised particularly the location under discussion.

As an individual who uses this location several times each week I am fully aware of how it operates.

The social and visual amenity of this precinct which has parkland adjacent on two sides will be completely altered.

What is currently a safe and comfortable place to shop any time for families the elderly and young people will become congested and difficult to navigate. The skyline to the west which offers a tree lined silhouetted sunset will be destroyed removing the sense this entirely residential area is still protected and connected to the best the Coffs Coast has to offer.

There has been much discussion regarding the educational and social benefit to our young people and the need for positive input into their lives thru investment in cultural facilities within the CHCC Chamber in recent years.

This need extends to their physical and social well-being in their place of residence as well. Healthy minds and healthy bodies make for a healthy society.

As intelligent and informed human beings you, our sitting Councillors, are well aware of this.

Please give this community a fighting chance. The Toormina/Sawtell residential precinct has gone from strength to strength over the last three decades. Please let’s keep it that way.

I admire Mr. Munro’s business acumen and his commercial success however the need of this community far out ways his need for this project.

Please let your decision tonight be for the benefit of the children and families in this area.


This is Council’s recommendation in regards to this DA;


That Council:

1.      Approve Development Application No. 0810/20 for a food and drink premises (take away food and drink premises) at Lot 20 DP746896, Toormina Gardens, 5 Toormina Road, Toormina subject to the conditions provided in Attachment 3.

2.      Advise persons who made a submission on Development Application No. 0810/20 of Council’s decision.

Earlier on this agenda item Council Executive/Staff state; “Following public exhibition of the application, Council received eighty-one (81) submissions. Accordingly, this matter is reported to Council for determination due to ‘significant public interest and community input’.

When one goes to see what the submissions were this is what one finds; “Development Application No. 0810/20 – Submissions [confidential]

CCO comment: Confidential?! Really?

Not even a summary of the number of those for or against???? That, people, is ‘transparency’ at work at the CHCC in 2021.

Feel free to comment.

Tonight’s agenda can be found here;

The agenda item pertaining to this DA is SC21/16 Development Application No. 0810/20 – Food and Drink Premises (Take Away Food and Drink Premises) – Lot 20 DP 746896, Toormina Gardens, 5 Toormina Road, Toormina

4 thoughts on “An open letter to CHCC councillors about the 24 hour Toormina ‘Maccas’ DA on tonight’s agenda.

  1. I fully support Anne’s opposition to this development, but CCO turning into (yet another) anti-Council diatribe is unwarranted. Confidentiality of submissions is standard practice.

    Editor: That wasn’t the main point we made Sam. The point was there was not even a summary total of those for or against the DA. One would have thought that was the least they could have done.

    Anyway given the 6-2 vote against the DA last night it would appear the majority may well have been against it – a simple tally would not break confidentiality.

  2. Although Sam might be confusing council bashing with holding council to account, he raises an interesting point.

    Sam asserts “Confidentiality of submissions is standard practice.” Yet NSW Planning is transparent about numbers relating to those for and against development applications they receive and also provide the option to those making submissions to either have their names published or to remain anonymous, which somewhat undermines Sam’s assertion that confidentiality is standard practice.

    So why is there so much ‘confidentiality’ at local government level? It is my belief that it depends on individual councils and in the case of CHCC, on past performance it is renown for its lack of transparency and indeed, secrecy.

    To the matter of the Maccas’ DA – a very welcome outcome. Finally, councillors got something right. Hopefully the proponent will accept their decision gracefully and not pursue the DA with a revised application, so the residents of Toormina/Sawtell no longer have to worry about an unbearable increase in traffic and noise 24 hours a day, along with discarded Maccas’ wrappings and containers strewn along roadsides.

    While I can hazard a guess at which two councillors supported the Maccas’ DA, can anyone provide a breakdown of how individual councillors actually voted?

    Editor: Hi Graeme – you have pretty much summarised some further points I was going to add in response to Sam but you have done them so well I wont bother. You are 100% spot on – the mania for confidentiality is a microcosm of the existing culture at the CHCC these days. Re: last nights vote;

    Against approval of the DA; Crs, Amos, Arkan, Knight, Rhoades, Swan and Townley.
    For the approval of the DA; Crs Addendorf and Cecato.

    1. Councillors Dunning and Kruger in a sensational comeback.

      Paid was put that they’d gone to ground. No. Oh no. This was blistering, side-by-side fortress-like onslaught of genius. One of them even stole the microphone and tried to run the show. Just incredible gumption. T’other, sharp, solemn, quiet and all-unassuming at the start, gained in both amplitude and fortitude and thundered, one would almost say, uncharacteristically, it was so compelling. Logic flowed from them in unison, like lava from two mountain peaks, one after the other, hot with the depth of thought, piercing with a gravitational prowess, unstoppable. Yet all with the eloquence of songbirds.

      They will be sorely missed.

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