Planning strategies

These strategies guide the growth of the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area, both at the local and state levels of government, and act as supports to the planning controls and guidelines.


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The City of Coffs Harbour (City) recognises that a shortage of affordable housing in the Coffs Harbour local government area is a significant issue that is likely to have adverse, long term social and economic effects and therefore must be addressed. We recognise that access to affordable, secure and appropriate housing is a basic human right.

The City’s approach to addressing the shortage of affordable housing is outlined in its adopted Affordable Housing Policy, which is available to view here. In June 2024 Council adopted the City of Coffs Harbour Affordable Housing Strategy, which outlines actions that the City will take to assist the delivery of additional social and affordable housing in the local government area.

To assist the City to monitor and understand the issue of housing affordability the City has subscribed to a housing monitor which provides data on housing and housing affordability within the Coffs Harbour local government area. The housing monitor can be accessed here.

The NSW Government has developed the Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan to provide a framework to manage and shape the city’s future growth so it conforms with the requirements of the North Coast Regional Plan 2036. 

The plan establishes a vision, objectives and actions to guide the growth of Coffs Harbour city. It sets six key collaboration areas to help deliver the 15-year strategic vision. 

 It was finalised in March 2021.

The heritage strategy summarises the way the City of Coffs Harbour will achieve implementation of its heritage program, and includes:

  • endorsement of the continuation of the Heritage Advisory Committee
  • actions to identify potential heritage items
  • actions to produce heritage brochures
  • actions to administer local heritage fund
  • actions to produce themed heritage trails, and
  • actions to promote cultural heritage awareness.

City of Coffs Harbour endorsed the Heritage Strategy for Coffs Harbour for 2021-2024 on 22 July 2021.

The aim of the Coffs Harbour Local Growth Management Strategy (LGMS) is to provide a coordinated, strategic and planned approach to cater for growth in our local government area to 2040. 

The LGMS consists of nine chapters, which have been adopted by both City of Coffs Harbour and NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.

The Local Strategic Planning Statement ('the Statement') provides a 20-year land use planning vision for the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area (LGA). It identifies 16 Planning Priorities to be delivered in four themes to 2040.

City of Coffs Harbour adopted the Statement on 25 June 2020 for the whole of the Coffs Harbour LGA. The Statement was prepared in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Regulations.

Now it is adopted, this Statement will inform several of our processes and procedures, including:

  • the roll out of strategic and city-shaping projects within operational and delivery plans
  • infrastructure priorities
  • advocacy with other levels of government for new infrastructure and services to support growth
  • preparation of place plans, and
  • amendments to local planning controls (Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan).

The Local Strategic Planning Statement is underpinned by the four key themes of the MyCoffs Community Strategic Plan, being:

  • Community Wellbeing
  • Community Prosperity
  • A Place for Community, and
  • Sustainable Community Leadership.

The Coffs Harbour Movement and Place Strategy(PDF, 9MB)  provides an action plan for the next 20 years to improve walking and cycling networks, bus services, and the City's roads and streets to contribute to a better place to live, work and play.

The development of the strategy has been led by the City in collaboration with Transport for NSW and other NSW Government agencies.

The strategy was adopted by Council on 28 September 2023. The Strategy received NSW Government ministerial approval for co-branding in January 2024.

The strategy sets out a number of goals called the 10 Big Moves:

  1. Improving our walking and cycling networks
  2. Better streets
  3. Improving our public transport services
  4. Investing in our blue and green grid (more street trees and linking and protecting our network of open spaces and waterways with paths)
  5. Beyond the bypass
  6. Connecting the city’s key precincts and growth areas
  7. Careful parking management
  8. Connecting our communities
  9. Shovel-ready projects to create great places
  10. Harnessing technology


In line with the strategy, the City has been supporting Transport for NSW and bus operators to provide simplified, more direct, and more frequent bus services. See how Transport for NSW is improving our bus network - Better bus services for Coffs

Starting with Country


What is Movement and Place?

In the past we’ve considered roads as just a way to get vehicles from A to B. Movement and Place recognises that streets are not just about moving people and goods – they are also places for people to live, work and spend time. Movement and Place is about getting the right mix of transport in the right locations to create places we can all enjoy.

Movement and Place considers the whole street including footpaths, from property line to property line. It takes into account the needs of all users of this space, including pedestrians, cyclists, deliveries, private vehicles and public transport, as well as people spending time in those places, whether moving around the place or enjoying street life including outdoor dining, waiting for a bus or watching the world go by.


The North Coast Regional Plan 2041 is a 20-year is the NSW Government’s blueprint for the future of the North Coast.

The NSW Government’s vision for the North Coast is to create the best region in Australia to live, work and play thanks to its spectacular environment and vibrant communities.

To achieve this vision the Government has set four goals for the region:

  • The most stunning environment in NSW
  • A thriving, interconnected economy
  • Vibrant and engaged communities
  • Great housing choice and lifestyle options.

Place Score is a 'place experience' measurement tool that lets communities across Australia share what they most care about. It gives communities a voice to shape the places they live, recreate and work.

Place Score consists of two tools - "Care Factor' captures what the community values; and 'PX' is a universal standard for measuring 'place experience'. Just as 'UX' measures the user experience of online environments, PX measures the lived experience of places across Australia.

The PX score (a number between 0 and 100) reveals how places and neighbourhoods are performing, what is contributing to place experience (and what is impacting users negatively) and allows change to be measured over time.

The Coffs Harbour 2019 Place Score Report involved community engagement between November 2018 and February 2019. A total of 2,075 responses were collected during the research. The Coffs Harbour local government area (LGA) achieved a PX or 65.

Key strengths listed for the overall LGA are elements of the natural environment (natural features, views, vegetation etc.); and locally owned and operated businesses.

Liveability improved priorities (those things identified that are important to the community but which are currently underperforming) are listed as:

  • quality of public space, access and safety of walking, cycling and/or public transport
  • walking/jogging/bike paths that connect housing to community amenities (like shops and parks)
  • the general condition of public open space (street trees, footpaths, parks), and 
  • protection of the natural environment.

Further analysis was also undertaken on localities (when sufficient responses were received to allow for this analysis).

Scores for other neighbourhoods included:

  • Arrawarra and Mullaway (65)
  • Boambee East (64)
  • Coffs Harbour city (64)
  • City Centre (62)
  • Jetty (69)
  • Park Beach (64)
  •  West Coffs (64) 
  • Coramba (68)
  • Corindi Beach (67)
  • Moonee Beach (72)
  • Nana Glen (61)
  • Sandy Beach (66)
  • Sawtell (77)
  • Toormina (58)
  • Woolgoolga (67)

The 2019 Place Score report provides valuable information to Council for diagnosing problems, identifying priorities and measuring change in key places and precincts across the LGA.


The Coffs Harbour Public Realm Strategy was adopted by Council on 10 August 2023. 

The Strategy aims to create a connected network of public open space that is clean, green, and safe, with a goal that everyone in our community will have access to a least one type of public open space within a 4 to 5 minute walk from their home.

The Public Realm is not just reserves and sporting fields - it includes all public spaces, such as: streets, forecourts, squares, bicycle and pedestrian links and waterways.

The Strategy provides guidance for the City, developers and the community on the planning, design and management of the public realm, including:

  • Guiding principles to inform projects and works that impact the public realm,
  • Standards for the different types of public realm within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area:
    • Local Parks (including small local parks),
    • District Parks,
    • Regional Parks,
    • Coffs Coast Regional Park,
    • Linear Parks,
    • Natural Areas,
    • Streets,
    • Sports Facilities, and
    • Community Gardens.
  • Performance criteria to assist the City in determining levels of service and provision for each public realm type,
  • 5 Big Moves to assist the City in meeting the vision of the Strategy:
    1. Establish a Green Grid Framework - to ensure that our public open space is protected and improved in perpetuity.
    2. Establish a Public Realm Tree Delivery Program - to protect trees within our urban environments and reverse the decline in the urban tree canopy.
    3. Support the Preparation of an Active Transport Plan - to ensure that our public realm is connected & to promote active lifestyles.
    4. Support the City's Placemaking Framework - by informing place plans for our community.
    5. Promote Responsible Pet Ownership in the Public Realm - by updating the City's Companion Animal Management Plan.
  • Future considerations for the City to address specific issues identified in relation to the public realm,
  • Public realm urban design guidelines - to ensure a consistent and legible approach on the design of public spaces,
  • Public open space requirements for future urban release areas,
  • Methodology to guide the City in its classification of public land, and
  • Guidance for the development of plans of management by the City.



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