“We need to be planning 60 years ahead in Coffs Harbour”

Forty five years ago, there were 11,000 residents in the Coffs Shire, there are now 77,000. If we maintain the current rate of growth, at the end of the next 45 years there will be 580,000 residents.

By Rodger Pryce

Forty five years ago we lived at Emerald Beach, there were six homes on Fiddaman Road, between the highway and the beach, a walk along the beach meant you knew everyone, except for school holidays.

People that lived there then loved it. People that live there now love it.

Where are all the new residents going to fit?

No one will stop them, they will come.

Compared to Port Macquarie we do not have a lot of residential land ‘in the wings’. Less availability of real estate means higher prices, you cannot change that.

We need to plan for the next 59 years and we need to get zoned residential land, on the market a damn site quicker. It can be done but it needs all of the stakeholders working together.

The Promenade DA proposal, pictured above, is an example of what is now and what needs to change.

As a species humans are ill equipped to accept change. Accepting change is inevitable and implementing plans as to how best to manage the change is how we can best move forward.

The Promenade as it is was not constructed to last forever, it needs to be replaced.

It can provide accommodation as well as a retail facility. The owners are investors in Coffs Incorporated, we should do what we can to assist them achieve a great result.

Change is inevitable, we need to manage the change as best we can. A lot of pressure on Councillors may see a recommendation in favour by the Council staff, as the development will no doubt comply.

Otherwise it is off to the Land and Environment Court, for another expensive loss.

We complain about our legal fees as stakeholders, but when you decline a complying development, you accept that you will be paying the expensive court costs, because a loss is the only outcome.


Rodger Pryce is now semi-retired and farms in the CHCC LGA near Ulong.

Previously he was in real estate for many years and was the principal developer of the new Coles site in Harbour Drive. He has sold his share of this development and has no other development holdings in the LGA other than that mentioned above.


First published Saturday May 1 in the CCIN Facebook site. Reproduced here with permission.

One thought on ““We need to be planning 60 years ahead in Coffs Harbour”

  1. As responded to Rodger’s post on Facebook which has drawn a praiseworthy number of concerned intelligent thinkers from among the community:-

    “Of serious concern is that Coffs Harbour Council’s planning department has spent many hundred thousands of dollars and an inordinate amount of time coming up with plans such as the Regional Plan 2036 (20 year) blueprint. However, it’s now obvious that a huge issue has presented itself in there’s no in-built provision to accommodate the sudden unforeseen spurt in population growth. Getting uneconomical near city rural land rezoned, is a task greater than putting man on Mars.

    Inner CBD or near city living will eventually come but not, in my view, til major government and council incentives are created for continuous employment growth.”

    Let us all hope the change coming in September will shift the dynamics and see some sort of clearing out, so that our gem of a place can prosper just as the rest of Australia’s coastal towns have.

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