In case you missed the article in the Coffs Coast Advocate from Wednesday June 26th 2019, please read below.

Overgrown site to bloom again.

Plans have been given tick of approval.

Article by Janine Watson.

Plans to breathe new life into an overgrown garden oasis in Sawtell have been given the tick of approval.

The family owned Cockbain Nursery at Hogbin Dr, Sawtell, closed it’s doors more than three years ago, marking the end of a 40 year era for the 14ha site.

As the site gradually fell into a state of disrepair a number of plans were floated including initial interest from a buyer who wanted to fill in the lagoon, bulldoze the remaining gardens and build a service station on the property.

Ultimately, it was the Sawtell Catholic Care of the Aged who seized the opportunity, purchasing the site in February last year with a vision to retain the magical ambience and the natural beauty of the former nursery as part of the Marian Grove Village vision.

But as SCCA communications co-ordinator Michelle Royce explains, it will be much more than just an extension of the Marian Grove aged care village, which adjoins the site.

Plans, which include re opening the cafe and establishing a sensory garden, were approved by Coffs Harbour City Council last week.

The two bungalows and large shed on the site will also be modified to create multi-purpose buildings available for various community groups. Work will include a new balcony off the bungalows looking over the lagoon which will be returned to its former glory.

“We did a lot of community consultation when we first bought the site so we knew we wanted to create a community hub for all ages and walks of life.” Ms Royce said.

The program on offer will range from arts based through to community gardening, food preparation and activities of daily living and physical movement such as Tai Chi and dancing.

This innovative connected community model is based on precedents from the UK and Europe that have been piloted over the last four years.