FLATTENED?Lower flat heights and more parking in new DCP


AN increase in the number of parking spaces for businesses and a reduced height limit for the development of residential flat buildings in Grafton are being proposed in council's draft Development Control Plans (DCPs).

The Clarence Valley Council is ready to publicly exhibit six draft DCPs after integrating planning controls from five of the former Valley councils.

Changes to current plans include a 25 per cent increase in the amount of parking commercial developers will have to provide in Grafton, a proposal to reduce the height limit for future residential flat buildings in Grafton from three-storeys to two and a new standard for minimum lot sizes on Yamba Hill.

If the draft DCPs are passed, commercial developers of shops and offices in Grafton will be required to provide one car parking space for every 30square metres of retail space.

Currently, Grafton requires developers to provide one car space for every 40sqm of retail space.

Council's manager of strategic planning David Morrison said changes were in response to the need for more parking in Grafton's CBD.

"Obviously this is going to be significant to the commercial sector," he said.

"These things are a balancing act, in one respect this could be seen as an impediment to development, but on the other hand ... everyone's coming to us saying we need more parking."

The proposed change will bring the control plans for commercial parking in line with Lower River standards.

A move, CEO of Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lyn Diskon believes is a positive step.

"We are one community and we need to have equity in what we do and how we regulate things, regulations have to be consistent throughout the Valley," she said.

The draft plan for Grafton will mean a height limit of 6.5 metres to the top plate and nine metres to the highest point on the roof.

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