The extensive and successful community consultation on the Woolgoolga Town Centre Masterplan undertaken by consultants Lat27 and Coffs Harbour City Council has been recognised with an award from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).
At the AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Awards last night, the project took out the Urban Design Award. The AILA Awards celebrate and promote the quality design for public open spaces, stronger communities and improved environmental stewardship.
In recent years, the completion of the Pacific Highway bypass and the addition of a new, major retail chain supermarket have fundamentally changed the role and structure of Woolgoolga from a thoroughfare to a destination.
As a result, the key goal behind the Masterplan was to capture the community’s and Council’s collective vision for Woolgoolga’s Town Centre – “To grow Woolgoolga in a way that does not affect its unspoilt and unhurried beachside character, but that is proactive in supporting business growth.”
“This particular consultation included many studies and additional works along the way, but I always say that if you can take a community on the journey with you to reach a goal, you know you’ve truly worked together,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight.
“I’m delighted to see that everyone involved in the consultation work has received this recognition. Between them and the community, we were able to deliver a Masterplan that has the Woolgoolga vision at its heart.”
Sharon Smith, Council’s Section Leader Local Planning, said it was a team effort.
“The community brought up a number of concerns and ideas that led to us taking extra journeys on the way to the completion of the Masterplan. Ultimately it has given Woolgoolga a really robust decisions framework and ideas map and we were very pleased that we were able to achieve a balance of differing views while also maintaining the strong vision,” she said.
The final Masterplan was approved and adopted by Council in February 2018.