PORT Macquarie-Hastings Council is seeking the latest information on any state government plans for the Plaza car park site.
It has been almost two years since Woolworths withdrew from the Plaza car park sale negotiations with Crown Lands.
That decision scuttled Woolworths’ plans to develop the Food for Less site and the Plaza car park next door.
The Plaza car park is Crown land, while Woolworths owns the adjoining Food for Less site.
Cr Lisa Intemann raised the Plaza car park issue at the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council meeting on August 16.
She said the Plaza car park was of vital economic importance to the CBD.
Cr Intemann said a development on the site needed to preserve the car parking spaces, respect the foreshore frontage and respect the heritage views to St Thomas’ Anglican Church.
”I believe that I speak for all councillors in saying we support a sensitive development of that site so that asset is preserved and well developed,” she said.
The council will write to Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams seeking the latest information on any plans of the state government and Crown Lands for the Plaza car park.
The letter will advocate for a high quality development of the site that preserves all the existing public car parking and integrates with the foreshore and adopted planning instruments.
Relevant material will be attached to the letter.
The council will schedule a councillor briefing session to consider options for council to progress the matter.
The vote at the council meeting was unanimous.
Country Labor’s Colleen Carmody and Kristy Quill spoke at the council meeting in support of the move.
Mrs Carmody said she helped get signatures on a petition to keep the car park in public hands as she felt very strongly it was given to the people of Port Macquarie in perpetuity by the man who originally reclaimed that area of land.
“With 12,700 signatures, we believe the people of Port Macquarie have spoken,” she said.
Mrs Carmody said the people of Port Macquarie wanted to know what was being planned for the site and have a say.
Miss Quill said we needed transparency, clarity and assurance from the state government.
Miss Quill organised the petition on behalf of Country Labor and the community.
She said the community wanted the area to be public space that was enhanced by any development, not overcrowded by it.
Mayor Peta Pinson said the Plaza car park issue had been stagnant for far too long.
“The community expects the site to be rejuvenated and it’s council’s part to ensure that any development there is going to be responsible and in keeping with what the community expects,” she said.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams told the Port News she would seek further clarification from Crown Lands about the future of the site.
Mrs Williams said the community was saying they wanted to see the space developed.
“I think everybody agrees, as per the foreshore plan of management, it is for commercial development, provided that it’s developed in line with the community expectations, which are reflected in the foreshore plan of management that went through considerable consultation,” she said.