Kyogle Council has big plans to reinvigorate its CBD.
Kyogle Council has big plans to reinvigorate its CBD.

Empty shops, old buildings: How will Kyogle fix its CBD?

Kyogle Council is embarking on a major strategy to fill empty commercial premises and bring life back into the CBD.

An amendment to the Local Environmental Plan, which would permit new uses in certain zones, is currently on public exhibition.

If approved, it could lead to some major changes in Kyogle.

"The Kyogle CBD presently has numerous vacant commercial premises as well as underdeveloped land and ageing commercial buildings in need of upgrade and repair," the planning proposal report states.

"A number of significant town centre retail premises have lain vacant for an extended period, and the quantum and format of the floorspace associated with these buildings does not meet the needs of modern retailing.

"In addition to compromising the vitality and viability of the Kyogle CBD, the fabric of these vacant/underused sites and buildings is decaying to an extent that the costs associated with bringing these assets back into use is becoming prohibitively expensive for prospective developers and investors.

"The CBD is displaying evidence of stagnation and a lack of investment in existing businesses and commercial premises as seen in multiple vacant premises, under-utilised land as well as old buildings that are not fit for purpose and do not meet the present needs of business."

The LEP amendments aim to provide flexibility and pragmatism.

One idea is for vacant premises to be used to trial and test fledgling business ideas.

Zoning changes could also allow for art and craft businesses and small industries to open in the CBD, along with residential dwellings.

Key points include:

Allow certain new commercial activities in Zones B2 and B4, including small scale manufacturing (light industries)

Allow certain temporary uses of existing premises, such as sales of local art, craft and produce

Allow the development of residential units in the area to help address a shortage of smaller dwellings.

"By making some minor amendments to LEP provisions … council can provide opportunities for development and activity that would not otherwise be possible," the report states.

"These additional opportunities will provide a mechanism to address under-utilised sites and premises, to increase activity in the CBD as well as add to the supply and diversity of dwellings."

The proposed LEP amendment is on public exhibition until February 5.

Submissions should be made in writing and addressed to: The General Manager, Kyogle Council, PO Box 11, Kyogle, NSW 2474 or emailed to