Coffs Harbour City Council

05 August 2020

 

Ordinary Council Meeting

 

The above meeting will be held in the Council Administration Building

Cnr Coff and Castle Streets, Coffs Harbour on:

 

Thursday, 13 August 2020

 

The meeting commences at 5.00pm and your attendance is requested.

 

 

AGENDA

 

1.         Opening of Ordinary Meeting

2.         Acknowledgment of Country

3.         Public Forum

4.         Disclosure of Interest

5.         Apologies

6.         Leaves of Absence

7.         Mayoral Minute

8.         Confirmation of Minutes

9.         Rescission Motion

10.      Notices of Motion – General

11.      General Manager’s Reports

12.      Notices of Motion – Business Services

13.      Directorate Reports – Business Services

14.      Notices of Motion – Sustainable Communities

15.      Directorate Reports – Sustainable Communities

16.      Notices of Motion – Sustainable Infrastructure

17.      Directorate Reports – Sustainable Infrastructure

18.      Questions On Notice

19.      Matters of an Urgent Nature

20.      Consideration of Confidential Items (if any)

21.      Close of Ordinary Meeting

 

 

Steve McGrath

General Manager

 

 


Order of Business

 

 

Mayoral Minute

MM20/04        Local Government Exclusion From National Cabinet......................... 3  

Notices of Motion General

NOM20/09      COVID-19 Risk Impact on Council..................................................................... 5

General Manager's Reports

GM20/19         Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan.......................... 6

Directorate Reports - Business Services

BS20/46          Cultural and Civic Space - Funding Options and Financial Implications of Change of Space................................................................ 29

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Communities

SC20/41          Development Application No. 1027/17 - Additions to Caravan Park (26 Additional Camp Sites, Ablutions Building, Replacement Bridge and Internal Roads) - Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach....................................................................................................................... 81

SC20/42          Development Application No. 0436/20 - Dwelling (Resulting in Detached Dual Occupancy) and Shed - Lot 42 DP 119621, 263A Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour............................................................... 120

SC20/43          Bi-Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey Report............................ 150

Directorate Reports - Sustainable Infrastructure

SI20/14           Waste Services - Fees and Charges Correction............................... 262   


MM20/04      Local Government Exclusion From National Cabinet

Author:                        Mayor

Authoriser:                  Mayor

Attachments:              Nil

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Agrees to send a letter to the Premier and to Mr Pat Conaghan and Mr Gurmesh Singh as the Federal Member for Cowper and the State member for Coffs Harbour respectively which highlights the critical necessity for Local Government representation on the newly formed National Cabinet and seeks their assistance in requesting that First Ministers review the decision to exclude Local Government.

2.       Seeks a meeting with our local Federal and State Members to discuss in more detail the importance of having local government representation on National Cabinet and the value of partnerships with Councils in achieving the objectives of the National Cabinet and the national reform agenda.

3.       Notes that the Australian Local Government Association, Local Government NSW and other state/territory local government associations will continue to advocate for local government representation on the National Cabinet and for Local Government’s interests in all relevant forums.

 

BACKGROUND

On 13 March 2020, as the Coronavirus pandemic took hold around the world, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) met in Sydney to discuss a range of issues of national importance. At that meeting First Ministers (the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers) agreed to establish a National Cabinet to meet at least weekly to address the country’s response to the coronavirus. The focus was primarily on the health and wellbeing of Australians and managing the health response. Over time National Cabinet has broadened its agenda to include a focus on managing coronavirus impacts across Australia. There was no Local Government representation on National Cabinet when it was established on the basis that its focus was on health. 

On 29 May 2020, First Ministers, through the Prime Minister, announced the continuation of National Cabinet, which they considered to be a much more effective body than COAG for taking decisions in the national interest. Local Government was not given a seat at the National Cabinet table.  However, ALGA as the national representative body of Local Government, was given a seat on the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC).  The NFRC will meet once a year to focus on priority national federation issues such as Closing the Gap and Women’s Safety.  In addition to ALGA, the NFRC is comprised of the National Cabinet and the Council of Federal Financial Relations – Federal and State/Territory Treasurers. 

The President of ALGA had been a member of COAG since it was convened by Prime Minister Keating in 1992. Local Government was included because all parties recognised that Australia has three levels of government and that the Government with most impact on people’s daily lives in terms of the provision of local services and infrastructure is Local Government.

Decisions about how our Federation works and how it can be improved or reformed require all three levels of government working together to align their policies and programs. Australians expect the decisions of government affecting them to reflect their grass roots views and to be implemented at the local level as well as the state and national level.  This was the case with the development and implementation of the National Competition Policy in the 1990s which included reform at the local government level as well as the National and State levels in areas such as water supply and infrastructure provision through procurement.  

National Cabinet, and the Commonwealth Government in particular, are looking towards pro-growth policies to lift investment and get Australians back to work.  With a focus on jobs growth they are seeking ways to enable parts of the economy to grow.  Local Governments are willing and necessary partners in developing and implementing reform. Reform involving the streamlining of legislation and regulation requires all the levels of government which are involved in regulation working together to achieve the benefits of reform for everyone without imposing costs or burdens on local communities. Getting it right on the ground is Local Government’s area of strength. 

Councils facilitate, establish, and grow local businesses and economies. Economic development has always been at the core of every successful council. Councils support economic growth through regional development policies and initiatives, strategic and land use planning, targeted investment attraction, prioritisation of local procurement, and focusing their annual investment on infrastructure that serves the community and business alike. Many councils also provide business networking opportunities, business training, mentoring, and incubator facilities and employment hubs. It is local government that is best placed to drive locally-led recovery.

The challenge facing National Cabinet over the coming months is unlike any which has faced Australian governments in recent times and it will require the concerted, coordinated and complementary efforts of all three levels of government to rebuild consumer confidence, support business and recreate millions of jobs. 

Australians expect their three levels of government to be working together, and to see evidence of that.  Including Local Government in National Cabinet would demonstrate a strong unity of purpose and a combined commitment to promote and implement National Cabinet decisions across the broadest implementation platform available to government.

 

  


NOM20/09   COVID-19 Risk Impact on Council

Attachments:          Nil

 

Motion:

Councillor Amos has given notice of his intention to move the following:

“That Council and the Audit & Risk Committee receive a report into the risk to Council of ‘contract and lease frustration’ as a result of COVID-19.”

 

Rationale:

“COVID-19 virus has the potential to impact upon current council contracts via the affect in ‘frustrating’ those contracts to the extent as to making void those contracts. Council needs to assess the risks associated with this impact.”

Staff Comment:

A report can be provided to both Council and the Audit & Risk Committee regarding the contract risk to Council.

  


GM20/19      Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan

Author:                        Group Leader Governance

Authoriser:                  General Manager

MyCoffs:                      D.1 Our leaders give us confidence in the future

Attachments:              ATT1  GM20/19  Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan

ATT2  GM20/19  Legal Advice- Proponent Led Planning Proposal  

 

Executive Summary

This report presents the amended Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan for Council’s endorsement. This plan has been amended to describe the process for anyRequest to amend Council’s LEP – Proponent Led Planning Proposal’ is to occur.

The change shows that any planning proposal that is prepared will be presented to Council with recommendation that Council resolve to request to the Minister, to direct another authority, such as the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), to be the planning proposal decision authority.

 

Recommendation:

That Council endorse the amended Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan.

 

Report

Description of Item:

In July 2017 the NRPP granted development consent to 0871/15DA which proposed demolition, earthworks, and subdivision of land into 98 lots and 1 residual lot over a total area of approximately 43ha located at Lot 54 DP 1199012, Airport Drive, Coffs Harbour, known as the Airport Enterprise Park Development. The Site is zoned SP1 – Special Activities – Air Transport Facility. Council is both the owner of the land and the planning authority.

A probity plan was developed at that time and since then the potential conflict between council, as both the developer and planning authority has become more evident. Council as the developer (Airport Development Group) is considering a request to amend the 2013 LEP (Proponent Led Planning Proposal), this potentially is at conflict with Council as the planning authority.  Legal advice has confirmed the way forward to minimise this potential conflict. The probity plan has now been amended to reflect this, with a consultant planner preparing the planning proposal and the proposal presented to Council with the recommendation the Minister refer the matter to the NRPP for determination.

Issues:

Legal advice obtained confirms that where there is a concern with respect to a perceived conflict of interest, or where there is an actual conflict of interest, the Council can request that the Minister direct another authority (such as the NRPP) to be the Planning Proposal authority.  This Probity Plan has been amended to state that should Council as the developer (Airport Development Group) choose to move in that direction, a resolution will need to be obtained to request the Minister to do this. This relieves Council of the potential conflict being both the developer and planning authority.

Options:

1.   Endorse the amended Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan.

2.   Reject the amendments, and have any ‘request to amend Coffs Harbour LEP 2013’ proposal presented to council for determination.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental implications as a result of this report.

•     Social

There are no social implications as a result of this report.

•     Civic Leadership

Providing a probity plan for the Airport Enterprise Park Development demonstrates civic leadership by providing role clarity, being transparent and by promoting good governance.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

There are no broader economic implications as a result of this report.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no Delivery Program or Operational Plan Implications as a result of this report.

Risk Analysis:

The development of a probity plan minimises the risk to council officials and contractors by developing clear roles and responsibilities.

Consultation:

Consultation has occurred with Maddocks Lawyers, member of Council’s legal panel. Their advice is attached to this report. The advice is not confidential as it only describes matters already in the public domain.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

ICAC – Probity and probity advising – Guidelines for managing public sector projects

NSW Ombudsman – Good Conduct and Administrative Practice Guidelines

Local Government Act 1993 NSW

Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 NSW

Coffs Harbour Local Environment Plan 2013

Implementation Date / Priority:

Immediate

Conclusion:

That Council endorse the amendment of the Airport Enterprise Park Development Probity Plan and note the accompanying legal advice.

 


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BS20/46       Cultural and Civic Space - Funding Options and Financial Implications of Change of Space

Author:                        Group Leader Financial Services and Logistics

Authoriser:                  Director Business Services

MyCoffs:                      A.1 A vibrant and inclusive place

Attachments:              ATT1  BS20/46   Concept Business Case - Cultural & Civic Space Project - Appendix A Option Analysis

ATT2  BS20/46   Rental Assessment Report  

 

Executive Summary

There are a number of alternative funding options available to the Council should it decide not to sell Rigby House and the Administration Building to assist in funding the Cultural and Civic Space Project. These include, but are not limited to, one or more of:

 

-     Additional External Borrowing

-     Special Rate Variation

-     Rental of Rigby House and Administration Building

-     Grant Funding

-     Philanthropy

-     Internal Borrowing

-     Joint Venture/Public Private Partnership

-     Developer Contributions

-     Airport Lease Allocation

 

After considering the financial impact and pros and cons of each these options, the current position of selling both the Administration Building and Rigby House is still recommended. Should sales of one or more of the four commercial properties not be realised, the Council report on the property sale negotiations can also analyse in more detail the most viable alternative funding options.

 

The financial implications of the removal of the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces from the Cultural and Civic Space Project will be approximately $38 million in additional costs over 20 years.  This will enable the retention of the Administration Building and Rigby House, the refurbishment the Administration Building to accommodate all administration staff then allowing Rigby House to be externally leased, and allow the Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space to be externally leased. This total cost is in addition to any ongoing operating costs already budgeted for the operation of the Cultural and Civic Space Building.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Note the report in response to Council Resolution No. 2020/100, items 2, 5 and 6.

2.       Authorise the General Manager to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers via the commercial real estate agent engaged by Council under the current agency agreement with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value for:

2.1.    Administration Building, 2 Castle St, Coffs Harbour (Lot 2 DP 566885, Lot 1 DP 566855, Lot 8 Sec 6 DP 758258),

2.2.    Rigby House, 27-29 Duke Street Coffs Harbour (Lot 110 Sec DP 777398).

3.       Note that a report will be brought back to Council in regard to property sale negotiations.

4.       Retain the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space.

 

Report

Description of Item:

When the Council considered the concept business case for the Cultural and Civic Space Project, funding for the project was proposed to be sourced from three different sources. The first was through the utilisation of the T2S Reserve for a total of $10.5 million. The second was through the sale of four assets being Rigby House, the Castle Street Administration Building, the Rose Avenue Commercial Offices and the Museum. Independent valuations at the time placed the combined value of these buildings at approximately $20 million. The third funding source was loan borrowings. To complete the $76.52 million construction project, the Council would need to borrow $46.02 million.

 

At the time, modelling did not include any grant funding. It was considered that should the project receive grant funding, then this grant funding would reduce the amount of the proposed borrowing. With the project now having been awarded $500,000 from the Public Library Infrastructure Grant Program this borrowing could be reduced to $45.52 million. The Council is well within the Debt Service Ratio target as set by the Office of Local Government and the borrowing for the project will still leave the Council within the target.

 

In 2018 as part of the concept business case, Appendix A Option Analysis (Attachment 1) considered various use options between a new building, the Administration Building and Rigby House, as follows:

 

·    Base Option – Council Resolution 2017/84

·    Option 2 – Cultural Space, Civic spaces excluded

·    Option 3 – Cultural Space & separate, renovated Civic building

·    Option 4 – Do nothing

 

The Base Option represents Council’s currently resolved position with all cultural and civic spaces consolidated in the new building.

 

On 14 May 2020, Council resolved (Resolution No. 2020/100) as follows:

 

That Council:

1.    Decline to accept the amounts tendered via the expression of Interest process for the sale of Council properties that concluded on 9 April 2020, being

a.    Property (a) Administration Building, 2 Castle St, Coffs Harbour (Lot 2 DP 566885, Lot 1 DP 566855, Lot 8 Sec 6 DP 758258),

b.    Property (b) Rigby House, 27-29 Duke Street Coffs Harbour (Lot 110 Sec DP 777398),

c.    Property (c) Museum, 215A Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour (Lot 101 Sec DP 1041655)

2.    Place a temporary pause on the inclusion of Property (a) Administration Building and Property (b) Rigby House from any Expression of Interest for sale process.

3.    Authorise the General Manager to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers via the commercial real estate agent engaged by Council under the current agency agreement with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value for Property (c) above (Museum Building) and Property (d) 169-171 Rose Ave, Coffs Harbour (Lot 100 Sec DP 861850).

4.    Note that a report will be brought back to Council in regard to property sale negotiations.

5.    Request a report detailing alternative funding options for the Cultural and Civic Space Project for the funding component relating to property asset sales.

6.    Receives a report detailing the financial implications of the removal of the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space, (other than Library, Gallery and Museum staff) and exploring opportunities for alternative uses for the space including community and/or commercial uses.

 

This report will cover items 2, 5 and 6 of the resolution 2020/100.

Issues:

Alternative Funding Options

 

Together, the Council had estimated that the contribution towards the funding of the Cultural and Civic Space Project from the sale of Rigby House and the Administration Building would be $17 million.

 

A number of different funding options other than the sale of these two buildings is available to Council. These include, but may not be limited to, one or more of the following:

 

-     Additional External Borrowing

-     Special Rate Variation

-     Rental of Rigby House and Administration Building

-     Grant Funding

-     Philanthropy

-     Internal Borrowing

-     Joint Venture/Public Private Partnership

-     Developer Contributions

-     Airport Lease Allocation

 

Additional External Borrowing

 

At the present point in time, the budget for the Cultural and Civic Space Project has allocated $46.02 million of borrowing for the completion of the project. Council does have the ability to borrow beyond this and it would be possible to borrow the additional $17 million should the Council decide not to sell both Rigby House and the Administration Building. It is currently estimated that a borrowing of $46.02 million would have annualised principal and interest repayments of $2.132 million per annum at 2.3% per annum over 30 years. Should the Council decide to increase this borrowing by an additional $17 million it would increase the annualised principal and interest (P&I) repayment to $2.92 million per annum at 2.3% per annum over 30 years.

 

This represents an additional $788k per annum. Council would need to allocate this additional repayment amount from its annual expenditure to meet repayments which would require a reprioritisation of resources.

 

Special Rate Variation

 

It would be possible for the Council to apply for a Special Rate Variation to undertake the project should the Council decide not to sell both Rigby House and the Administration Building. Council has consistently indicated during community engagement and the financial planning for the project that a Special Rate Variation would not be utilised to fund the project. Additional borrowing would be required however this borrowing maybe undertaken over a shorter time period to allow for Special Rate Variation to be over a limited 10-year period. If this was the case, an $17 million borrowing over 10 years at 2.0% per annum (borrowing rates over the shorter term are currently cheaper than the longer term) would require annual repayments of $1.884 million.

 

In 2020/21 the estimated yield from the Ordinary Rate Structure is $47.021 million. Therefore, to have a Special Rate Variation for the funding of $1.884 million per annum over 10 years would require a Special Rate Variation of approximately 4.01% on the General Rate.

 

Rental of Rigby House and Administration Building

 

Should the Council decide not to sell both Rigby House and the Administration Building and yet still occupy the Cultural and Civic Space project building at its completion, it would be possible for the Council to lease both Rigby House and the Administration Building which would provide an income to offset the additional funding costs associated with the project. The two buildings combined have a Net Lettable Area of 7,357m2. It is estimated that the net rental which may be received by the Council for these two buildings would be approximately $2.02 million per annum net or on average $275 per m2. After depreciation of $430k per annum, the revenue for the Council to contribute to the additional funding costs per annum would be $1.59 million. It is estimated that at the time of the Council vacating both of these premises, capital work would need to be undertaken on both of the properties to the value of $1.6 million to enable maximum return to be realised and enable the properties to be leased. It is expected that this refurbishment could be funded by the saving generated by Council not having to lease back the Administration Building and Rigby House for a period of three years which has been budgeted for by the Council as part of the future estimates. An additional saving over this $1.6 million to be used on the capital work from lease savings would be approximately, over the three-year period, $3 million.

 

As the additional borrowing costs outlined above total an additional $788k per annum required to be funded, should 100% occupancy be achieved at both Rigby House and the Administration Building, the surplus funds, of approximately $802k, could be utilised by the Council for other purposes. However, it is more likely that 70% occupancy could be achieved which would see approximately $196k available for other purposes.

 

This assumes the buildings will be leased at their commercial rates without discounts. While this presents as a positive option, it needs to be balanced with the risk associated with becoming a commercial landlord with a substantial net lettable area.

 

However, should Council consider leasing the space for community uses, the lease or leases would be assessed under the Leasing and Licencing Policy for Community Organisations and associated guidelines. Under these guidelines, there are two main possibilities for a lease to a community organisation. The first would be to a not-for-profit service which is operating in a commercial sense and they would be required to pay full commercial lease rentals. The second is a community organisation which provides a community service and is predominantly operated by volunteers. Should Council lease space to an organisation such as this, the lease fee would be 3.75% of the calculated commercial lease value. This reduced rental percentage is calculated under the Guideline for Assessment of Rental for Community Tenants. This would have a significant impact on the lease return to Council and have negative financial implications into the future.

 

For the purposes of this report it is assumed that 25% of the net lettable area within Rigby House and the Administration Building will be leased by community organisations who would attract a lease fee of 3.75% of commercial rent. This would reduce lease income by approximately $484k per annum bringing the total lease income to approximately $1.536 million per annum. Assuming a 70% occupancy rate (as above) the total lease income would be approximately $1.075 million per annum. With this level of lease income, the Council would need to allocate an amount of approximately $143k per annum over and above the lease income to meet the loan expense on the additional $17 million loan.

 

Grant Funding

 

Council has already been successful in attracting $500,000 worth of funding from the NSW Public Library Infrastructure Grants (PLIG) program for the fit out of the Library component of the project. It is possible that further grant funding may become available however at this point in time should not be relied upon as an alternative funding source for the $17 million.

 

Philanthropy

 

Philanthropic donations are a well-known source of funding particularly when it comes to Art Galleries. Many Art Galleries throughout Australia utilise philanthropic donations to not only add to their collections but to assist in funding major capital infrastructure projects. Rockhampton City Council in Central Queensland has a specific Rockhampton Art Gallery Philanthropy Board who takes a lead role to assist the Council and the Gallery achieve their cultural vision for their region. It could be considered unlikely that the Coffs Harbour City Council would receive a substantial donation which may fund the $17million identified in this report but it could certainly be a way to add some additional items into the collection or fund some specific speciality capital items which will enhance the offering to the community from the Gallery.

 

Internal Borrowing

 

At the end of the 2019/20 financial year it was budgeted that the Council will have in excess of $175 million in reserves and unexpended loans which are currently invested to provide returns to Council. Of this approximate $175 million, Council has the ability to internally borrow the $17million should the Council decide not to sell both Rigby House and the Administration Building. If the internal borrowing was to include funds from the water or sewer fund, Ministerial approval would be needed to undertake the internal borrowing. Council has been successful in gaining this approval in the past for other projects. This borrowing could be undertaken at the same rate as outlined under the additional borrowing option above and would provide Council with a higher return on investment for these funds than could be expected over the short to medium term through its normal investment channels. Should the Council decide to undertake this internal borrowing of $17 million it would see the annualised repayment to reserves of $788k per annum at 2.3% per annum over 30 years. However, should this internal borrowing occur it would also see an increase in interest income for the investments of approximately $75k per annum in the short term. Council would need to allocate this additional repayment amount from its annual expenditure to meet repayments which would require a reprioritisation of resources. The net impact of this option would be additional annualised payments of $713k.

 

Joint Venture / Public Private Partnership

 

A Public Private Partnership is defined by the Office of Local Government as:

 

“A public-private partnership (PPP) is an arrangement between a council and a private person for the purposes of:

a)   Providing public infrastructure or facilities in which the council has an interest, liability or responsibility under the arrangement, and/or;

b)   Delivering services in accordance with the arrangement.”

 

The definition is intended to capture the range of arrangements that include models described as Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT); Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT); Build, Own, Operate (BOO); Design, Build, Finance, Operate (DBFO); Privately Financed Projects (PFPs) and the like.

 

Changes were made to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) by the Local Government Amendment (Public–Private Partnerships) Act 2004. The changes introduce a Part 6 in Chapter 12 of the Act with new requirements for all councils in NSW, including county councils, when entering into PPPs.

 

As the project design is well advanced at this point of time, to enter into a Joint Venture / Public Private Partnership is possible but would most likely be problematic particularly given it would only be for less than 25% (being $17 million) of the total project value. This would also create issues with regards to borrowing from TCorp as this component would be considered private/commercial which would then exclude it from eligibility to borrow from TCorp.

 

Developer Contributions

 

As the facility provides for future growth of the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA), it could be considered appropriate that a portion of the costs of providing the facility be apportioned to the future population and development growth to occur throughout the LGA.

 

Preliminary work has been carried out on this apportionment as follows:

 

A portion of the Cultural and Civic Space being provided by Council has been necessary to accommodate future cultural and civic needs of the community, but also maintain an adequate standard of service to meet the demands of the current population.

 

Estimated population 2019

74,737

Estimated population 2048

105,565

Estimated population growth

30,828

Population growth apportioned (i.e. calculated for life expectancy of development)

29.2%

 

It is therefore reasonable to apportion only 29.2% of the cost of these facilities to the demands generated by new development.

 

It has been estimated that a LGA wide Developer Contributions Plan could be put in place over the next 30 years which would allow the recoupment of costs associated with future development within the LGA of the project which would see a charge of approximately $2,400 per large lot. The $17 million referred to within the report would need to be borrowed either internally or externally as per the options above.

 

Airport Lease Allocation

 

Should the airport lease transaction proceed, it is possible that there will be some funding available from this transaction which could be utilised either as a direct allocation to the Cultural and Civic Space Project or as an internal borrowing towards funding the $17 million should the Council decide not to sell both Rigby House and the Administration Building. Discussion around the project previously have indicated that any proceeds from the airport lease transaction are not for the use of the Cultural and Civic Space Project however the use of these funds as an internal borrowing maybe considered appropriate as it would provide a greater level of return to the Council for these funds than they would attract in the current investment market.

 

Financial Implications of the Removal of the Proposed Functions of Council Staff Offices and Associated Working Spaces

 

It is assumed for the purposes of this report, that should the Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space, (other than Library, Gallery and Museum staff) that the Administration Building and Rigby House would not be sold.

 

At the 50% of detailed design stage, it is estimated that the net lettable area of the Council staff offices and associated working space is approximately 3,300m2. This is split over four floors ranging in size from 350m2 to 1290m2. What needs to also be noted is that until final design is complete, these figures will vary depending on the process to take the project to 100% design.

 

Independent advice, in Attachment 1, sought by Council indicates that it could be expected that the commercial return for office space of this calibre with this position within the CBD could be expected to rent for approximately $370m2 plus GST gross per annum. This needs to be expressed as a net figure for comparison with rents for Rigby House and the Administration Building by subtracting outgoings. As a net rent figure, it would be expected to be rented for approximately $330m2 plus GST.  If this was the case and the whole space was able to be commercially let it would generate approximately $1.09million per annum in rental.

 

Should the Council consider leasing the space for community uses, the lease would be assessed under the Leasing and Licencing Policy for Community Organisations and associated guidelines. Under these guidelines, there are two main possibilities for a lease to a community organisation. The first would be to a not-for-profit service which is operating in a commercial sense and they would be required to pay full commercial lease fees. The second is a community organisation which provides a community service and is predominantly operated by volunteers. As it would be unlikely for these groups to have exclusive use of the facility, should the Council lease space to organisation such as this, the lease fee would be 3.75% of the calculated commercial lease value. This reduced rental percentage is calculated under the Guideline for Assessment of Rental for Community Tenants. This would have a significant impact on the lease return to Council and have negative financial implications into the future.

 

For the purposes of this report it will be assumed that 25% of the net lettable area will be leased by community organisations who would attract a lease fee of 3.75% of commercial rent which would reduce lease income by approximately $262k per annum bringing the total lease income to approximately $828k per annum. Assuming a 70% occupancy rate the total lease income would be approximately $580k per annum.

 

Also to be considered, 3,300m2 is quite a large quantity of office space to be let to one tenant and it is unlikely that Council would be able to find a single tenant to utilise the complete space. Part of the leasing out of the area currently designed for Council staff offices and associated working space, is the cost to make this area lettable in multiple compartments. At this point in time the whole facility has been designed to be utilised in an integrated way from the basement to the rooftop. Some lifts have been positioned to be utilised by internal staff only and no public access has been designed to access staff only floors. Should the space need to be divided to enable separate lettable compartments, further capital expenditure would be required to enable this leasing to be undertaken. Until such time as there is greater certainty as to the final design and the spaces likely to be required to be available for lease, determining the cost associated with enabling the building to be let are difficult to determine. For the purposes of this report it is estimated this cost will be $1.5 million.

 

When the decision was being made to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space project, it was estimated that an efficiency gain of approximately $300k would be realised each year due to the co-location of all office spaces within the organisation. Should the Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working space from the project, it would be expected that this efficiency gain would be lost and it is possible that as the staff would now be operating from three facilities it may be expected that there would be a productivity loss felt across the organisation. Assuming 50% of the $300k could be attributable to both buildings and that Library and Gallery make up 50% of floor space currently being utilised by Council at Rigby House, we could expect an additional productivity impact of $75k bringing the total impact to $375k per annum in lost productivity.

 

CBD Planning Outcomes

 

The Precinct Analysis Gordon Street Library and Gallery adopted by Council in April 2017 had the site of the Cultural and Civic Space Project as the centre of an area of the CBD identified as the Civic and Cultural Hub of the City (refer map below). This precinct has the following characteristics:

 

Civic Cultural Hub Precinct

-     Civic and Community Service Focus

-     Proximity to City Heart

-     Strong Pedestrian Connectivity

-     Proximity to Passive Green Space

-     Proximity to Public Parking

-     Building Height Controls between 28 to 40m

-     Medium to Large Grain Subdivision Pattern

 

Rigby House is located within an area defined as the Office Living Precinct. This precinct has the following characteristics:

 

Office Living Precinct

-     • Commercial Focus

-     • Adjoins Passive Green Space

-     • Proximity to Community Facilities

-     • Building Height Controls up to 40m

-     • Fine to Medium Grain Subdivision Pattern

-     • Existing and Future Residential Uses

 

Should the Council choose to retain the provision of some Civic services within the Office Living Precinct it would not be in line with its adopted strategic planning framework which has Civic services preferably located within the Cultural Civic Hub Precinct.

 

 

Should Council staff not be centralised in one building there will be a need to refurbish the Administration Building and these costs are discussed later in this report. It is expected that there will also be additional operating costs associated with the operation of three buildings compared to one. Without final design and knowledge of which parts of the building will be leased, it is very difficult to determine what the operating costs for the new building will be. It is expected that the operating costs for the Administration Building and Rigby House will remain relatively consistent with costs being currently incurred. This will also be dependent on whether or not a refurbishment of the Administration Building will be undertaken which will enable all remaining staff being able to be located within this building.

 

Part of the decision to incorporate the Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space was due to the fact that the current Administration Building and fittings has reached the end of its useful life. If the Council decides on retaining the building for its current purpose, it can be anticipated that a refurbishment of this building will be required to be undertaken. Once the Cultural and Civic Space building is complete, library and art gallery staff would be moved from Rigby House to the Gordon St building.  Staff at Castle St could then be moved to Rigby House and occupy the bottom floor to enable the vacation of the Administration Building.

 

The Administration Building could then be stripped out, refurbished and re-fitted over a period of say 12 to 18 months.  On completion all staff from Rigby House would move to Castle St. This would enable the whole of Rigby House to be let out to commercial tenants with an annual revenue of approximately $1.15 million. After depreciation this provides for $886k of revenue.

 

It should be noted that pursuit of this option may have a significant detrimental impact on Council future workplace strategy envisaged for the organisation, proposed to be based on an activity-based working model.

 

Cost Estimates

 

The following cost estimates are provided to the Council to show an estimated cost for the refurbishment option for the Administration Building including the required capital expenditure to lease the area within the Cultural and Civic Space Building.

 

Cost estimate element based on initial concept

(Note: Detailed design estimate may refine up or down)

Cost Estimate
(ex GST)

Demolition/strip out Castle Street

600,000

Refurbishment of Castle Street

7,638,000

Fitout - Workstations, chairs, pedestals

1,140,000

Decant to Rigby House and return

50,000

Establish lettable areas in Cultural and Civic Space Building

1,500,000

Sub-total

10,928,000

Design contingency 5%

546,400

Construction contingency 10%

1,092,800

Escalation to 2024 (4 years at 3%/annum)

1,577,294

Sub-total including contingencies, escalation

14,144,494

Allowance to total end cost 30% (Consultancies, etc.)

4,243,348

Total end cost Castle St refurbishment and refit and lettable space conversion

$18,387,842

 

The depreciation cost of this refurbishment is estimated to be approximately $625k per annum.

 

It is expected the Council would need borrow the funding to undertake this refurbishment. The repayments on a $18.388 million loan over 20 years at 2.3% would be $1,152,202 per annum. With the depreciation cost and the loan repayment costs for the refurbished Administration Building totalling approximately $1.78 million per annum, Rigby House rent revenue after depreciation of approximately $886k the net cost to the Council would be approximately $894k per annum. Operating from two buildings again would also reduce the productivity losses from $375k per year for three building to the original $300k per year.

 

Total Additional Costs of the Removal of the Proposed

Functions of Council Staff Offices and Associated Working Spaces

 

Per Annum

Increase in costs

 

Loan Costs for Loss of Property Sales

788,000

Loan Costs for Admin. Building Refurbishment

1,152,202

Additional Depreciation Cost Admin. Building and Lettable Space

625,000

Productivity Loss

300,000

Additional Operating Cost Admin. Building

500,000

 

 

Offsetting Revenue

 

Lease Revenue Cultural and Civic Space

-580,000

Lease Revenue Rigby House

-886,000

Total additional costs per annum

$1,899,202

 

In summary, there would be an annualised cost over 20 years of $1.899 million, or approximately $38 million in total, to retain the Administration Building and Rigby House and to refurbish the Administration Building to accommodate all administration staff. Rigby House would be externally leased and the Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space would also be externally leased. This cost is in addition to any ongoing operating costs already budgeted for the operation of the Cultural and Civic Space Building.

 

Should the Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space there are many alternative uses for which this space could be used.  Some of these options which could be considered are as follows:

 

-     Commercial Office Space;

-     Community Organisations;

-     Creative Industries;

-     Education Providers;

-     Health Providers;

-     Government Agencies; and

-     Non-Government Organisations.

Options:

Alternative Funding Options

 

Outlined in the Issues section of this report are a number of alternative funding options. Although these are options, only a few are within the control of Council and these are outlined in the table below:

 

Option

Additional Annual Cost

Pros

Cons

Sell Buildings (current position)

Nil

· Established way forward

· Previously subjected to external review

· Co-location and accompanying productivity gain of $300,000

 

Additional External Borrowing

$788,000

· Low interest rates

· Reduced lease costs

 

· Need to reprioritise resources to fund $788k loan per annum

· Greater debt with perception that debt is bad

· New financial forecasts have not been externally reviewed

Rental of Rigby House and Administration Building

-$196,000 to $143,000

· Possible additional funds available for allocation by Council

· Reduced lease costs

· Commercial landlord role not a core function of Council

· Increased risk being significant commercial landlord

· Expectation of tenures for community groups at reduced rental

· New financial forecasts have not been externally reviewed

Internal Borrowing

$788,000

· Increased investment returns

· Debt not considered as part of total debt for external reporting purposes

· Reduced lease costs

· Need to reprioritise resources to fund $788k

· New financial forecasts have not been externally reviewed

 

Developer Contributions

Nil

· Shares cost of project across future growth

· Reduced lease costs

 

· Increased cost ($2,400 per large lot) for development

· New financial forecasts have not been externally reviewed

 

After considering the financial impact and pros and cons of each these options, the current position of selling both the Administration Building and Rigby House is still recommended.

 

Council resolved for the General Manager to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers via the commercial real estate agent engaged by Council under the current agency agreement with a view to achieving a reasonable offer in line with market value for Property (c) above (Museum Building) and Property (d) 169-171 Rose Ave, Coffs Harbour (Lot 100 Sec DP 861850) and provide a further report. Similarly, it is recommended that Council take this approach for the Administration Building and Rigby House. Council can then make an informed decision on whether or not to sell the assets or undertake one of the other options outlined above.

 

Financial Implications of the Removal of the Proposed Functions of Council Staff Offices and Associated Working Spaces

 

As outlined in the Issues section of this report, should the Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space there are many alternative uses for which this space could be used.

 

No matter which organisations lease the available space in the Cultural and Civic Space building, it is estimated that there would be an annualised cost over 20 years of $1.899 million, or approximately $38 million in total, to remove the proposed function of Council staff offices and associated working spaces from the Cultural and Civic Space building. Council would need to allocate this $1.899 million per annum from its annual expenditure to meet these costs which would require a reprioritisation of resources (that is; changes to levels of service for some current services).

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no expected environmental impacts from this report.

•     Social

The use of the Cultural and Civic Space building for a broad range of cultural uses, co-located with civic spaces, including Councils offices was demonstrated through the concept business case to deliver the best social outcomes from the project.

•     Civic Leadership

Civic leadership is shown through the progressing cultural and civic infrastructure that meets the needs of Coffs Harbour as a growing regional city. This report reinforces the current funding model and building functions as the preferred pathway forward.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

An independent economic assessment identified a host of benefits to the CBD, including a variety of financial benefits over a 30 year period totalling $57 million, 31 on-going jobs and an extra $2 million per annum Gross Regional Product as a result of the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no Delivery Program / Operational Plan implications from maintaining Council’s current position on the funding model and sale of the Administration Building and Rigby House. Should Council wish to resolve one of the options contained within this report the financial implications will vary dependant on which option is chosen by Council as outlined in the Options section of this report.

 

Should Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space as previously discussed there would be an annualised cost over 20 years of $1.899 million, or approximately $38 million in total, which will need to be reallocated from other priorities.

Risk Analysis:

A number of risks have been identified in the preparation of this report. Should Council resolve to undertake a different path than the status quo, there are risks in that any additional design requirements will having timing and cost implications for the project. Should Council decide to remove the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces within the Cultural and Civic Space there is a significant financial cost and risk as outlined above.

Consultation:

-     BVN Architects

-     Altus Group – Cost Managers

-     Magann O’Rourke Loader – Property Valuers and Consultants

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Relevant strategies and policy for this report include:

 

-     MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan

-     The City Centre Master Plan 2031 and its desired outcomes are enabled in part by this project through activation of the Gordon St site.

-     The Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022

-     A Strategy for Our Libraries, Museum and Gallery 2020-2023

-     Economic Development Strategy 2017-2022

-     Coffs Coast Tourism Strategic Plan 2020

-     Coffs Harbour Events Strategy 2020

-     Disposal of Assets Policy

Implementation Date / Priority:

As required upon determination by Council.

Conclusion:

The analysis of alternative funding options for the Cultural and Civic Space Project for the funding component relating to property asset sales has shown, after considering the financial impact and pros and cons of each option, the current position of selling both the Administration Building and Rigby House is still recommended. Should sales of one or more of the four commercial properties not be realised, the Council report on the property sale negotiations can also analyse in more detail the most viable alternative funding options.

 

The financial implications of the removal of the proposed functions of Council staff offices and associated working spaces from the Cultural and Civic Space Project will be approximately $38 million in additional costs over 20 years.

 


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SC20/41       Development Application No. 1027/17 - Additions to Caravan Park (26 Additional Camp Sites, Ablutions Building, Replacement Bridge and Internal Roads) - Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach

Author:                        Development Assessment Officer

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      C.2 A natural environment sustained for the future

Attachments:              ATT1  SC20/41   Development Application No. 1027/17 - Section 415 Evaluation Report

ATT2  SC20/41   Development Application No. 1027/17 - Plans

ATT3  SC20/41   Development Application No. 102717 - Draft Conditions

ATT4  SC20/41   CONFIDENTIAL Development Application No. 1027/17 - Submissions from 1st Public Exhibition Period

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(e) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law.

ATT5  SC20/41   CONFIDENTIAL Development Application No. 1027/17 - Submissions from 2nd Public Exhibition Period   

      

 

 

Executive Summary

This report provides an assessment of Development Application No.1027/17 for additions to the existing caravan park, by the addition of 26 camp sites, ablutions building, replacement bridge and internal roads at Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach.

At its meeting of 12 October 2017, Council adopted the ‘Development Applications - Consideration by Council Policy’, which outlined:

That development applications for approval involving substantial aspects of the following elements be referred to Council for determination:

-     Significant public interest and community input;

-     A proposed variation to the Local Environmental Plan that varies from the development standard by more than 10%;

-     Significant land use; and

-     Major environmental issues.

The application was advertised and notified on two separate occasions and received significant public interest and community input.

Accordingly, this matter is reported to Council for determination due to ‘significant public interest and community input’.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Approve Development Application No. 1027/17 for additions to the existing caravan park, including the addition of 26 camp sites, ablutions building, replacement bridge and internal roads at Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach subject to the conditions in Attachment 3.

2.       Advise persons who made a submission on Development Application No. 1027/17 of Council’s decision.

 

REPORT:

Applicant:

Damien Gallacher, Discovery Parks

Landowner:

Beston Parks Land Co Pty Ltd

Land:

Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach

Zone:

RE2 Private Recreation

Description:

Additions to Caravan Park (26 additional camp sites, ablutions building, replacement bridge and internal roads)

Description of Item:

•     The Site

The site is identified as Lot 32 DP 1038983, 73 Fishermans Drive, Emerald Beach. The site is zoned RE2 Private Recreation under Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013. The site can be accessed from Fishermans Drive. The caravan park has existed for some time. It currently comprises 117 short term caravan sites and 30 camping sites. 

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•     The Development

The development comprises expansion to the existing caravan park, including the addition of 26 camp sites, an ablutions building, replacement bridge and internal roads. The application originally lodged did not include any proposal to replace the existing bridge. The bridge replacement was included to address concerns of the NSW Rural Fire Service about the existing access/egress to the majority of the site.  The replacement bridge results in a bridge that is wider to allow for two-way traffic, which the current existing bridge does not provide.

Issues:

The main assessment issues for the proposed development are:

-     Site suitability due to potential bushfire and flood,

-     Traffic generation on Fishermans Drive,

-     Potential impacts on Fishermans Creek and Solitary Islands Marine Park,

-     Concerns about amenity impacts on nearby residential areas (noise, privacy, security),

-     Concerns about Emerald Beach village character.

These issues are detailed in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

Options:

1.   Adopt the recommendation thereby granting approval to the application, subject to conditions.

2.   Refuse the application and list reasons for refusal.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

A complete assessment of potential environmental impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Social

A complete assessment of potential social impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

The proposed development is considered to be consistent with the ‘MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan’ particularly the ‘A Place for Community’ theme, which requires amongst other things that development occur in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The proposed development is not expected to result in any significant broader economic implications.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no implications for Council’s Delivery Program/adopted Operational Plan.

Risk Analysis:

A risk analysis has been undertaken and it is considered that approval of the development application as recommended, does not pose a significant risk to Council.

Consultation:

The application was publicly advertised and notified to nearby and adjoining landowners with an opportunity to provide a submission from 06 July 2017 to 20 July 2017. There were 104 submissions received during the public exhibition period. All submissions were objecting to the development. Following receipt of amendments to the proposal, the application was publicly advertised and notified to landowners a second time with an opportunity to provide a submission from 13 November 2019 to 26 November 2019. Two submissions were received. A summary of the issues raised and how these issues are addressed is outlined in Attachment 1 of this report.

A full copy of all of the submissions are provided in a confidential attachment to this report (Attachment 4 and 5), as the submissions may contain personal or private information or other considerations against disclosure as prescribed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The statutory instruments relevant to the development include the following:

-    State Environmental Planning Policy No.21 – Caravan Parks;

-    State Environmental Planning Policy No. 55 – Remediation of Land;

-    State Environmental Planning Policy No. 71 – Coastal Protection;

-    State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018;

-    Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2000;

-    Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013;

-    Notification Development Control Plan 2002;

-    Off Street Car Parking Development Control Plan 2007;

-    Waste Management Development Control Plan 2002.

Each of these statutory instruments is considered in detail within Attachment 1 of this report.

Implementation Date / Priority:

In the event that Council adopts the recommendation, a formal notice of determination will be issued for the development application. A formal notice of determination is valid for five years and the applicant can act on the development consent at any time within that period, subject to meeting any relevant conditions of the consent.

Conclusion:

A comprehensive assessment of the application has been undertaken in accordance with all statutory requirements and it is recommended that the application be approved subject to a number of standard conditions (Attachment 3).

 

 


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SC20/42       Development Application No. 0436/20 - Dwelling (Resulting in Detached Dual Occupancy) and Shed - Lot 42 DP 119621, 263A Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour

Author:                        Development Assessment Coordinator

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      C.2 A natural environment sustained for the future

Attachments:              ATT1  SC20/42   Development Application No. 0436/20 - S4.15 Evaluation Report

ATT2  SC20/42   Development Application No. 0436/20 - Plans

ATT3  SC20/42   Development Application No. 0436/20 - Draft Conditions

ATT4  SC20/42   CONFIDENTIAL Development Application No. 0436/20 - Submission

Confidential in accordance with Section 10A(2)(e) of the Local Government Act as it contains information that would, if disclosed, prejudice the maintenance of law.  

      

 

 

Executive Summary

This report provides an assessment of Development Application No. 0436/20 for a dwelling (resulting in detached dual occupancy) and shed at Lot 42 DP 119621, 263A Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour.

At its meeting of 12 October 2017, Council adopted the ‘Development Applications - Consideration by Council Policy’, which outlined:

That development applications for approval involving substantial aspects of the following elements be referred to Council for determination:

-     Significant public interest and community input;

-     A proposed variation to the Local Environmental Plan that varies from the development standard by more than 10%;

-     Significant land use; and

-     Major environmental issues.

The development application is reported to Council for determination because it proposes to vary a development standard in the Local Environmental Plan by more than 10%.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Support the request to vary a development standard made pursuant to Clause 4.6 of Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 for the variation to the separation distance of dwellings (detached dual occupancy) under Clause 4.2E(2)(c) of Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013 in this particular case.

2.       Approve Development Application No. 0436/20 for a dwelling (resulting in a detached dual occupancy) and shed at Lot 42 DP 119621, 263A Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour, subject to the conditions in Attachment 3.

3.       Advise persons who made a submission on Development Application No. 0436/20 of Council’s decision.

 

REPORT:

Applicant:

Mr P Woods

Landowner:

Mr P Woods

Land:

Lot 42 DP 119621, 263A Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour

Zone:

RU2 Rural Landscape and E2 Environmental Conservation 

Description:

New Dwelling (resulting in detached dual occupancy) and Shed

Description of Item:

•     The Site

The site comprises an area of 7.85 hectares and consists of land zoned RU2 Rural Landscape which is largely cleared and previously used for banana growing and vegetated land on the steeper slopes zoned E2 Environmental Conservation, which is mapped as primary koala habitat.

Existing vehicular access to the site is from a gravel right of carriageway off Shephards Lane.

The site is currently developed with a dwelling and ancillary structures.

Figure1: Locality Plan showing location of existing Dwelling and proposed new Dwelling and Shed 

•     The Development

The proposed development involves the construction of new dwelling (which will result in a detached dual occupancy) and shed. The new dwelling will be located approximately 80 metres to the south of the existing dwelling and on land zone RU2 Rural Landscape. The shed will be located on an alternative building site towards the western side of the property on land zoned RU2 Rural Landscape.

Both developments will have vehicular access from the existing right of carriageway.   

Issues:

The main assessment issue for the proposed development is that the development does not comply with the maximum 50 metre separation distance for dwellings comprising a detached dual occupancy in Zone RU2 under clause 4.2E (2)(c) of the Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013.

This issue is detailed in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

Options:

1.   Adopt the recommendation thereby granting approval to the application, subject to conditions.

2.   Refuse the application and list reasons for refusal.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

A complete assessment of potential environmental impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Social

A complete assessment of potential social impacts is provided in the Section 4.15 Evaluation Report as Attachment 1 to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

The proposed development is considered to be consistent with the ‘MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan’ particularly the ‘A Place for Community’ theme, which requires amongst other things that development occur in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically responsible.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The proposed development is not expected to result in any significant broader economic implications.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

There are no implications for Council’s Delivery Program/adopted Operational Plan.

Risk Analysis:

A risk analysis has been undertaken and it is considered that approval of the development application as recommended, does not pose a significant risk to Council.

Consultation:

The development was advertised and notified in accordance with the requirements of the Coffs Harbour Community Participation and Engagement Plan for a period of fourteen (14) days and one (1) submission was received.

A full copy of the submission is a confidential attachment to this report (Attachment 4) as the submission may contain personal or private information or other considerations against disclosure as prescribed under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

The statutory instruments relevant to the development include the following:

-    Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2013

-    Coffs Harbour Development Control Plan 2015

-    State Environmental Planning Policy (Building Sustainability Index: BASIX) 2004

-    State Environmental Planning Policy (Primary Production and Rural Development) 2019

-     State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 Remediation of Land

Implementation Date / Priority:

In the event that Council adopts the recommendation, a formal notice of determination will be issued for the development application. A formal notice of determination is valid for five years and the applicant can act on the development consent at any time within that period, subject to meeting any relevant conditions of the consent.

Conclusion:

A comprehensive assessment of the application has been undertaken in accordance with all statutory requirements and it is recommended that the application be approved subject to a number of standard conditions (Attachment 3).

 

 


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SC20/43       Bi-Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey Report

Author:                        Community Planner

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Communities

MyCoffs:                      D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

Attachments:              ATT1  SC20/43   2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey Report  

 

Executive Summary

Council conducts a Customer Satisfaction Survey and a Community Wellbeing Survey every two years. The 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey was conducted by an independent research company, with 504 randomly selected residents polled by a telephone survey (landline and mobile) between 27 April and 2 May 2020. The Community Wellbeing Survey was delayed until the second half of 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

The Customer Satisfaction Survey aims to assess satisfaction with and priorities towards, Council facilities and services. An additional question was included in the 2020 survey to establish what residents believe Council could do to assist the community during and beyond COVID-19 and during other times of emergency or disaster.

The purpose of this report is to provide the results from this survey for Council’s consideration.

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Note the findings of the 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey Report.

2.       Place the 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey Report on Council’s website.

 

Report

Description of Item:

In 2012, Coffs Harbour City Council initiated a Customer Satisfaction Survey to assist the organisation to evaluate its performance in the delivery of services and assess community priorities in regard to those services. The survey was conducted on a two yearly basis to monitor changes in satisfaction levels and priorities over time.  The survey was designed to provide baseline data from which longitudinal (i.e. time-based) comparisons could be made in future years.

In 2014, the Community Wellbeing Survey was also introduced and completed at the same time as the Customer Satisfaction Survey in order to understand community wellbeing outcomes and indicators over time and as outlined in the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan.  In 2020, the Community Wellbeing Survey has been delayed until the second half of 2020; in recognition that this survey would be severely influenced by the initial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ‘lock-down’ period.

In 2020, the Customer Satisfaction Survey was undertaken in April and May 2020.  An additional question was included to establish what residents believe Council could do to assist the community during and beyond COVID-19 and during other times of emergency or disaster.  The research was collated and findings analysed to compare results from previous years.  The analysis is compiled in a final survey report (Attachment 1).

Issues:

The Customer Satisfaction Survey aims to:

-     Understand and identify community priorities for the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA).

-     Identify the community’s overall level of satisfaction with Council performance.

-     Assess and establish the community’s priorities and satisfaction in relation to Council activities, services and facilities.

-     Explore and understand resident experiences when contacting Council.

-     Establish what residents believe Council could do to assist the community during and beyond COVID-19 and during other times of emergency or disaster.

In the 2020 survey, 504 randomly selected residents were polled by a telephone survey (landline and mobile) between 27 April and 2 May 2020.  A unipolar scale of 1 to 5 was used in all rating questions, where 1 was the lowest importance or satisfaction and 5 the highest importance or satisfaction, which allows for the identification of different levels of importance and satisfaction across respondents.

Based on the number of Coffs Harbour LGA households, a random sample of 504 adult residents implies a margin for error of +/- 4.4% at the 95% confidence level. This means that if a similar poll was conducted 20 times, results should reflect the views and behaviour of the overall survey population – in this case “all Coffs Harbour LGA adult residents excluding council employees and Councillors” - to within a +/- 4.4% margin in 19 of those 20 surveys.  In 2020 Council added Value Regression Analysis to the methodology. This is a technique for assessing predictor importance, especially when there are high levels of correlation or variance in the data compared to previous years. This analysis allowed Council to further identify the key drivers of community satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Further details of the methodology, analysis and benchmarking of the survey data undertaken by the research company Micromex can be found in the final survey report (Attachment 1).

The following are the key findings from the 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey:

-     82% of Coffs Harbour LGA residents interviewed were at least somewhat satisfied with the performance of Council in the last 12 months; with the top drivers of overall satisfaction reported as Council’s level of communication with the community, waste and recycling, enforcement of local building regulations; and economic development.

-     79% of Coffs Harbour LGA residents interviewed were at least somewhat satisfied with the level of communication Council currently has with the community.  This was identified as the strongest driver of overall satisfaction (40%), with issues relating to communication a common reason for residents being either not at all, or not very satisfied with the performance of Council.

-     The most valued aspects of the area are the natural environment and beauty, lifestyle and atmosphere, central location; and the weather and climate.  Coffs Harbour LGA residents placed more importance (than regional benchmark norms) on appearance and environment related measures, with 48% suggesting that the natural environment was the most valued aspect about living in the Coffs Harbour region.

-     The highest priority issues are maintaining/improving roads, general town maintenance and completion of bypass.

Micromex compared survey results to the regional benchmarks and identified unique aspects of Coffs Harbour City Council compared to other regional councils that include:

-     Council’s satisfaction rating is on par with the Micromex regional norm and the mean rating for satisfaction is the highest reported across a 6 year reporting period, increasing significantly from 2018 across all responsibility areas of Council.  The 18-34 age group demonstrated the highest level of satisfaction across age groups, and those who have lived in the area for 10 years or less were significantly more satisfied than residents who have lived in the area for over 10 years.

-     Coffs Harbour LGA residents place a higher level of importance on cleanliness and appearance in their area, with ‘cleanliness of streets’, ‘protection of the natural environment’ and ‘parks, reserves and playgrounds’ demonstrating higher importance scores than the benchmark norms.

-     The following community facilities also demonstrated significantly higher importance scores than the regional benchmark norms:

§ Community facilities

§ Parks, reserves and playgrounds

§ Sporting facilities

§ Creation or attraction of cultural and sporting events

-     Residents also appeared to be more satisfied with infrastructure, for example ‘maintenance of sealed roads’, ‘maintenance of unsealed roads’, ‘footpaths and cycleways’, ‘maintenance of public toilets’ and ‘sewerage’ all demonstrated higher satisfaction scores than the regional benchmark norms.

Key opportunity areas identified by Micromex for Council to consider include:

-     Council’s communication and engagement is critical in shaping the community’s perceptions of Council performance. Greater investment in this area will consolidate/strengthen overall satisfaction.

-     Understand needs in relation to cleanliness in the area, and continue to provide adequate waste services to the community.

-     Continue to focus on economic growth in the area, including the promotion of tourism.

-     With the local paper moving online Council should look to audit current communication and engagement methods and develop a revised media strategy to upweight community awareness and engagement.

-     Work with the community to understand and explore expectation with regard to the local road network.

Options:

1.    Adopt the recommendation provided to Council; this will enable the survey findings to be made available to the public and incorporated in Council processes and planning.

2.    Amend or reject the recommendation provided to Council; depending on the nature of the resolution, this may impact on Council’s ability to derive full value from its investment in the surveys.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

The Customer Satisfaction Survey seeks community feedback on residents’ engagement with the local environment and their satisfaction with Council services that aim to protect and enhance the environment.  Coffs Harbour LGA residents value environmental protection and liveability more highly than other regional benchmark Councils.

•     Social

The Customer Satisfaction Survey seeks community feedback on the provision of Council services and facilities and how they contribute to fostering a vibrant, inclusive and healthy community. The Survey enables Council to integrate the perspective of LGA residents into its planning and delivery processes, and understand the social value of investment in nominated areas of importance.

•     Civic Leadership

The Customer Satisfaction Survey enables the community’s voice to be heard in Council’s decision-making on strategic priorities and service delivery contributing to MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan Objective D.2 We have effective use of public resources.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

High level community satisfaction is a significant driver for population and economic growth.  The Customer Satisfaction Survey seeks community feedback on Council services that aim to foster economic growth in the Coffs Harbour LGA.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

The findings of the Customer Satisfaction Survey will inform decision-making in the development of Council services in the future. Any budget impacts will be subject to the evaluation and consultation processes implemented in the preparation of Council’s Delivery Program and Operational Plan; any associated expenditure is monitored through Council’s monthly and quarterly budget reviews.

In regards to the key opportunity raised by Micromex of greater investment in communications, it should be noted that Council has already committed additional resources and focus within this year’s Operational Plan in this area.

•     Risk Analysis:

Risk associated with the staging of the Customer Satisfaction Survey relates to the degree to which Council successfully incorporates the feedback into the improvement of its service provision. Surveys are recognised as a valuable and affordable tool in this process. The random phone poll, carried out independently across a statistically valid sample, provides a significant and non-partisan snapshot of community opinion on key issues at a given time. The survey findings help to inform Council’s ongoing monitoring of operational performance as well as the review and development of the organisation’s strategic directions.

Consultation:

Council undertaking the bi-annual survey is an investment in best practice corporate planning and community engagement.  The development of the survey questions required the participation of staff responsible for the delivery of Council services across the organisation. The final report and recommendations of the Community Satisfaction Survey have been distributed to Council’s leadership and a Councillor briefing held in July 2020.

The random sample methodology ensures that the surveys generate responses that are statistically valid and representative of the wider Coffs Harbour LGA community.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

There is no legislative requirement for Council to conduct surveys; however, they are recognised as a valuable resource in developing and monitoring Council services and programs.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The Customer Satisfaction Survey report will be made available to the community through the Community Engagement section of Council’s website. 

Conclusion:

The bi-annual Customer Satisfaction Survey has been conducted in 2020.  This report presents an overview and analysis of the results.

 


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SI20/14         Waste Services - Fees and Charges Correction

Author:                        Team Leader Waste Services

Authoriser:                  Director Sustainable Infrastructure

MyCoffs:                      C.2 A natural environment sustained for the future

Attachments:              Nil

 

Executive Summary

At its meeting on 25 June 2020 Council resolved to adopt the 2020/21 Fees and Charges. One Fee was reported to Council using a published rate not sought by Waste Services and this report seeks to rectify that. 

 

Recommendation:

That Council:

1.       Note the intention to reduce the existing published Charge of $291.00 per tonne Charge for Waste Services – Commercial/Industrial Mixed Waste Class M1 – Sorted <3 Contamination with a Charge of $251.00 per tonne, inclusive of GST.

2.       Place the intended amendment on public exhibition for a minimum period of 28 days.

3.       Receive a further report on the matter following the public exhibition period.

 

Report

Description of Item:

This report requests that Council consider supporting a staff recommended reduction in the recently established Charge for the disposal of a certain class of Waste.

Issues:

At its meeting on 25 June 2020 Council resolved to adopt the 2020/21 Fees and Charges. One waste-related Charge was reported to Council using a recommended rate not sought by Waste Services. As a consequence, the charge has inadvertently and significantly increased from $245 per tonne to $291 per tonne.

This report seeks to rectify the situation on the basis that the adopted increase is in the range of 19% and consequently has the capacity to disrupt the existing contractual operations of some commercial waste businesses within the LGA. The issue was identified following a recent query from that source.

The Charge, known as “Commercial / Industrial Mixed Waste Class M1 – Sorted <3% Contamination”, is paid by commercial operators as they deliver commercial waste into the processing facility at Englands Road. The charge was reported to, and hence adopted by, Council at $291.00 per tonne, however, the rate recommended by Waste Services for the 2020/21 period is $251.00 per tonne.

The particular charge did need to increase from its low 2019/20 rate of $245, especially to account more appropriately for the NSW Government’s increased Waste Levy and other operational cost increases, however the required increase was not to the level of the originally reported and consequently adopted fee.

Options:

The two primary options available to Council are:

1.   Resolve the recommendation and effectively reduce the current charge of $291.00 per tonne to $251.00 per tonne for the 2020/21 financial year.

2.   In the alternative, resolve to maintain the existing charge at $291.00 per tonne.

Sustainability Assessment:

•     Environment

There are no environmental impacts from the substantive elements of this report.

•     Social

There are no social impacts subsequent to this report.

•     Civic Leadership

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Coffs Harbour City Council is responsible for the setting of Fees and Charges for waste removal, treatment and disposal services and facilities.

•     Economic – Broader Economic Implications

The 2020/21 Fee which this report seeks to change is currently set at $291 per tonne. This represents an increase of $46 from the 2019/20 Fee of $245. The rise represents an increase of 19%. The size of this increase has capacity to detrimentally affect the business of several local commercial waste operators.

•     Economic - Delivery Program/Operational Plan Implications

Low impact or economic implications to the overall Waste Services budget.

Risk Analysis:

The major risks that have been identified and evaluated are:

1.       Compliance with Local Government Act regarding the amendment of fees and charges, and

2.       Council significantly deviating from the current charge quantum.

These risks have been mitigated by compliance with the Act via a public exhibition period, and by seeking a reasonable charge quantum – which is the subject of this report.

Consultation:

The original fee was placed on public exhibition and residents were directed to make a submission. No public submissions were received during the consultation period. Staff identified the matter following a query and now report to Council that a change to the existing Charge is recommended.

Related Policy, Precedents and / or Statutory Requirements:

Pursuant to the Local Government Act, Coffs Harbour City Council has authority for the setting (and the amending) of Fees and Charges for waste removal, treatment and disposal services and facilities.

Implementation Date / Priority:

The revised fee would be payable from the start of business on the Monday following the Council meeting which follows the public exhibition period. No refunds/adjustments are to be provided.

Conclusion:

Adopting the recommendation as written will ensure the intended fee will be charged moving forward.