It's a green light for Forster's civic precinct project with two significant planning approvals being secured for this landmark site on the corner of Lake, West and Middle streets.
Last month the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment approved the amendment to the Great Lakes Local Environment Plan (LEP) to allow an increase to the height restrictions and the floor space ratio for Forster's civic precinct site.
That approval enabled the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) to meet on September 20 to consider an application for the mixed use development, which includes public and private facilities.
The JRPP granted conditional approval to the development application and commended council on its extensive community consultation on the project.
MidCoast Council corporate and business systems director, Steve Embry said: "We are extremely pleased that we can now move to the next stage in achieving the community's identified priorities for a modern library space, new Visitor Information Centre and flexible community space."
A development agreement has been entered into between Enyoc and council for the design and construction of these community facilities.
The approval also allows for the residual of the site to be developed by Enyoc for commercial purposes, over several stages, which include facilities such as seniors living apartments, retail shops, supermarket, hotel and a gymnasium.
The JRPP resolved that separate development consent should be sought for a proposed cinema, nightclub and child care centre, which was not granted approval as part of this consent.
In addition to the new council facilities, a large economic boost to the local economy is expected via the commercial development of the project.
Federal Member for Lyne, David Gillespie welcomed the news that the civic precinct would become a reality.
"This project is an outstanding gain for the MidCoast region as a whole, with sustained benefits for the local economy,” he said.
“The National Stronger Regions Fund investment of $6 million is a significant contribution to the development of new community facilities on site."
More information on the civic precinct project, along with the full decision of the JRPP (when available), can be found on Council's website athttp://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/civicprecinct.