What does ‘employment land’ refer to?

    Employment land refers to land that is predominantly used for retail, commercial, business, office, or industrial activities resulting in employment.

    What are the main objectives of draft Chapter 8 Employment Lands?

    The objectives of the draft chapter are to:

    ·  Revisit and update the established strategies and directions in the existing Industrial and Business Chapters of Coffs Harbour's existing Local Growth Management Strategy;

    ·  Provide direction and actions to guide future land use decision making and facilitate renewal of employment land to attract business or industry investment; and

    ·  Identify potential future locations for employment land development, beyond existing zoned land.

    What are the key directions included in this chapter?

    Seven core directions have been identified to guide the supply, development and efficient use of employment lands across the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA):
    • Support and reinforce Coffs Harbour City Centre as the geographic and economic heart of the LGA
    • Protect and strengthen industrial areas, to provide a reliable economic and employment base for the region
    • Encourage renewal of centres and employment precincts in line with place-based strategies
    • Promote Coffs Harbour LGA as the major regional centre by strengthening connections with surrounding LGAs
    • Invest in strategic transport linkages to enhance utilisation of employment lands and attract further investment
    • Align and protect a diversity of jobs and services to meet the needs of the growing population
    • Leverage anchor institutes through strategic partnerships and agglomeration of complimentary uses.

    How are employment lands defined in this land use document?

    Draft Chapter 8 has defined ‘employment land’ to ensure that all business and industrial land within the Coffs Harbour LGA is captured, which includes land within a ‘business centre’ or an ‘employment precinct’.

    ‘Business centres’ include land within Zone B1 Neighbourhood Centre, Zone B2 Local Centre, Zone B3 Commercial Core, and Zone B4 Mixed Use.

    ‘Employment precincts’ include land within Zone B5 Business Development, Zone B6 Enterprise Corridor, Zone B7 Business Park (this zone is currently not used in Coffs Harbour), Zone IN1 General Industrial, Zone IN2 Light Industrial (this zone is currently not used in Coffs Harbour), Zone IN3 Heavy Industrial, and Zone IN4 Working Waterfront.

    How much employment land is within the Coffs Harbour LGA?

    The Coffs Harbour LGA currently provides a total of around 525 hectares of employment land, consisting of 411 hectares within 'employment precincts' and a further 114 hectares within ‘business centres’.

    What is the demand for employment lands over the next 20 years?

    The employment lands analysis determined that an additional land area of around 65 hectares of ‘employment precinct’ land would be required to accommodate the projected demand for the LGA to 2040.

    Of the existing 114 hectares of zoned land within business centres of the LGA, around 4 hectares is undeveloped and around 33,000m2 is vacant. Over the next 20 years, the demand for additional retail floor space is expected to be around 52,500 square metres. Demand for additional business and office space is expected to be around 72,000 square metres.

    What key actions are recommended for employment precincts?

    Draft Chapter 8 identifies the need to protect and strengthen current industrial land uses within the Coffs Harbour LGA (particularly industrial and specialised retail lands uses) to retain a reliable economic and employment base for the region over the next twenty years.

    It recommends that investigation areas (employment lands) identified within the existing Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy in Woolgoolga, South Bonville West and North Boambee Valley are retained.

    It is also recommends that the following areas are investigated for employment precinct opportunities:

    - an enterprise park at the Aviation Drive precinct (providing a mix of business development / specialised retail uses; and light / general industrial uses);

    - employment precincts at key access points of the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass (based on environmental constraints and financial viability); and

    - appropriate locations for heavy and larger floor plate industrial use land opportunities with neighbouring LGAs.

    What key actions are recommended for business centres?

    Draft Chapter 8 identifies that most of the additional business centres floor space can be accommodated within exiting ‘business centres’. The draft chapter also identifies investigation areas in certain localities that could also be pursued if required to accommodate such growth.

    Council has established a Business Centres Hierarchy, which reaffirms the need for the Coffs Harbour City Centre to remain the primary retail and commercial centre for the region, providing administrative, civic, cultural, entertainment and larger employment generating uses.

    Draft Chapter 8 identifies a number of barriers which are currently inhibiting development and renewal of business centres within the Coffs Harbour LGA. The draft chapter recommends a review of Council’s local planning controls, the undertaking of financial feasibility assessments, and other initiatives to encourage and leverage commercial development.