What does the community want at the Coffs Harbour Foreshores?

‘Put the community at the centre of the decision making process through broad, inclusive and transparent consultation.’ 

By Fran Stephenson & David Jeffrey

This was one of the main objectives of the Jetty Foreshores community consultation carried out by consultancy firm, GHD, during 2017. However, according to local Jetty residents the subsequent Report published in 2018 does not accurately reflect the responses of participants and they ask if the Report simply fits a pre-determined plan for this valuable community space.    

The foreshores are always popular on the weekends – just like this photo taken on Sunday 30 August this year.

The GHD Report states that 3,865 people visited the social pinpoint site a total of 4,454 times and 562 people submitted 1,633 ideas and comments. The published table shows 817 lines of “comments” from the survey and a table of Key Themes and subcategories.

The various ideas attracted about 7,400 “up votes” and almost 4,500 “down votes”.   

However, Coffs Jetty Foreshores Group members say that no attempt was made to classify votes as supporting or not supporting an idea and no attempt made to classify the responses into useful topical groups such as “Public Transport”, “Play Parks”, “Food/cafe”, “Shade”, “Fishing Club”, Accommodation”, “High Rise”, “vegetation” etc

In the survey significant community support was demonstrated for improved and new public facilities such as amenities, picnic tables, sporting facilities, pathways, recreation, shade, improved access etc. About 37% of the pinpoint survey responses related to public spaces, facilities and activities.  Keeping, maintaining, improving and expanding public spaces and public facilities is the main area of community concern for participants. 

The second major issue identified by 22% of pinpoint survey respondents related to commercial development.  Apart from good support for more café/food/restaurants there was low or little support for any commercial development including accommodation and low/high/medium rise development. 

The survey showed that there is strong support for a general improvement of the whole area including better public transport, additional parking, more picnic & BBQ facilities, more shower/toilet blocks, extra playparks, better shade structures/trees, sporting facilities, pathways, beach maintenance and access.

However, the majority of participants are opposed to commercial development, any accommodation, hotels and development east of the railway line and about 75% voted against medium or high-rise development.  

It can be concluded from the survey results that there is good support for the development of public facilities and little support for private development except for cafes and restaurants.

Key strategic objectives for the Jetty Foreshores area listed on the NSW Government Planning website include:

  • Address the Premier’s Greener Public Spaces and Greening our City Priorities.
  • Achieve positive community outcomes by providing open space areas.

According to the Coffs Jetty Parklands Group the inclusion of commercial development, accommodation, hotels etc. will not meet with these Planning objectives as set down by the State Government or the general requirements of the community and future growth when open space will be key to healthy, happy living.

The above is a media release from the Coffs Jetty Foreshore Parklands Group.


For more information see; www.coffsjettyparkland.com

7 thoughts on “What does the community want at the Coffs Harbour Foreshores?

  1. Would love to see a boarder walk along the beach like manly u can sit and watch the beach without all the Bush and lots of seating would be lovely.

  2. Car parking
    No night clubs like the current operation of fishing club.

    Hotels accommodation
    Tables chairs.
    Community focused development
    A few more restaurants
    Limited residential
    No offices or commercial space
    No retirement villages or caravan park.
    Proper facilities supporting the fishing industry and leisure boaters.

  3. Definitely do not want commercial development. Improvement of parking and parks yes. This is the jewel of the crown for Coffs. I’d rather see the deep sea fishing club flattened and turned into a park for everyone, than an exclusive area.

  4. Quite a few things I’d like to see, but here’s the main one. See if you can picture it.

    Imagine a shipping container that’s smooth on the sides. Or a concrete block. It’s about as high as a person’s chest, about as wide, and takes up about the length on the ground as two people laying end to end. Quite big, in other words. These are extremely smooth, and painted in various colours but mostly white. The paint is so advanced that it reflects the sun. They’re not shaped like cubes; instead, they have the top corners chopped off. These things are so well painted they reflect the sun.

    Put hundreds of these things down there all lined up, row after row. An army of shiny, biggish concrete blocks, reflecting the sun. Right there in the jewel of the coast. Taking up two to four football fields in size. Look good, won’t it?

    No? Well that’s exactly what you’ll get.

    Those concrete blocks won’t be called that, they’ll be called cars. And the area will be called a car park.

    You’ll get it.

    It’s hard to see how not to. So what do we do about it? That’s what I’d like to see: innovative ways of shielding the monstrous visual atrocity of a car park.

    Here’s a couple of ways to do it so you hardly know a car park is there. Firstly, the easiest and quickest, is to erect a classy, wooden fence. But don’t do it in straight lines. Do it in a staggered array, and curved (so it’s not really a fence). Plant trees in selected places and shrubs and done well the eye wouldn’t be bothered by it. It won’t look like a barrier if designed well.

    Takes longer, but the same, in curves, and in broken lines, can be shrubs.

    These have entry and exit areas. People driving to the marina, or walking anywhere south and east won’t have the huge impact of a battalion of cars.

    The real fun begins when you decide to go up a level. A car’s height is easy to achieve with an extended ramp. A wooden ramp and viewing area can be created so that a person can walk up to that height without noticing the incline, sit and look at the views. Perhaps there’s a cafe there, or an Aboriginal culture space, or an area for small gatherings where kids and families can engage in organised activities (dance, play big chess, a comic or soap box, a street festival act etc). Something fun and family friendly.

    This raised section could be built more solidly and the other elements that people want in the plan could be at that raised level. More expensive, but is it worth it? Definitely worth the bits of paper in drawing it up.

    A version of this raised area that’s not as huge is a simply walkway and seating area as mentioned that begins the incline to the south, and another to the east, in a feature that gives people a pleasant walking alternative and a place to sit while being able to see the views.

    The cars could be under those structures, or shielded by them.

    Hard to describe in words, but with sweeping curves and not too ambitious, this raised walkway-platform-shield can be made to look extremely attractive and a feature in itself – inviting, classy, celebratory and useful, or lower key if preferred.

    And all the while, no car park visible to the south or the east, but for entries and exits.

    I’d like for these people to be considered, and the above well-designed structure can provide something really wonderful for them: the elderly, the frail and unwell, mums with babies. Without walking far, up an easy incline that you hardly notice, or a ramp, or steps, up a level to take in the views and sit and feel the breeze, under shade or in the sun … all experiences that would be appreciated no end, and currently not possible (and should be already).

    What will we get, though, do you reckon? The above is too hard, too too hard, isn’t it. Too unusual, too much thought, too much effort. Wastes a dozen sheets of A4 paper to draw up the one that charms. Much better to just leave the cars in row after row after row, assaulting the eye, like everywhere else up and down the coast … don’t you think?

    So yes to a car park, and yes to not making it visible, and yes to creating a charming, useful feature rather than mere barrier.

  5. I would like to see open spaces retained, multi-purpose open spaces like the one that is there now. But to pretty it up somehow with some more shade trees or art without pinching the space. No commercial development. More nice places to sit down and enjoy nature, some in sun and some in shade. Most of the shade trees were pinched when the market area was ‘improved’. This area is our portal to most aquatic things. Let us not make it so only the rich people who will live in highrises have access to it. We do not want to be another Gold Coast or even Byron Bay; you cannot get close to the beach in either place. Too popular, too crowded, too developed.

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