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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have been investigating a bypass of Coffs Harbour since 2001 and has identified a preferred route which will provide a 14-kilometre bypass of the Coffs Harbour urban area, from Englands Road in the south to Sapphire in the north.


The Australian and NSW governments will fund the Coffs Harbour Bypass. The Bypass is part of the Pacific Highway Upgrade project being delivered by RMS.


The Bypass is identified as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


In June 2016, the Department issued RMS with the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the project. The SEARs were updated in October 2017 to include the Commonwealth Government’s biodiversity assessment requirements. The SEARs are to be addressed by RMS in the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Coffs Harbour Bypass.


In September 2018, RMS publicly released its preferred concept design for the Bypass. The concept design included cuttings or land bridges at Roberts Hill, Shephards Lane and Gatelys Road.

The RMS has responded to community feedback on the preferred concept design and the project now includes tunnels at Roberts Hill, Shephards Lane and Gatelys Road.


The EIS concept design also includes:

  • Grade separated interchanges at Englands Road, Coramba Road and Korora Hill
  • Structures to pass over local roads and creeks as well as a bridge over the North Coast Railway
  • Tie-ins and modifications to the local road network, pedestrian and cycling facilities, and fauna crossing structures
  • Noise attenuation measures
  • Operational ancillary works and facilities
  • Temporary construction ancillary facilities and works to facilitate the construction of the project.


Consultation and feedback

RMS has reviewed community feedback received on the preferred concept design, which informed the preparation of the EIS for the Bypass.


The EIS was on public exhibition until 27 October 2019.


The Department welcomed feedback from the community, government agencies and other stakeholders during the public exhibition period. This feedback helps us better understand the opinions and concerns of the community, which informs our assessment of the project.


The scoping report, SEARs and other project documents received by the Department to date are available on our Major Projects website.


Next steps

Following the exhibition, the Department will publish all submissions received and ask RMS to address any issues raised by the community, council and government agencies.


RMS will prepare a Response to Submissions (RtS) report, which should address concerns or issues raised by the community, councils or government agencies during the exhibition period. The Department will publish the RtS on our Major Projects website. The Department may require RMS to prepare a Preferred Infrastructure Report (PIR) if changes to the proposal are requested.


The Department will independently assess the application based on the EIS, community, council and government agency submissions and the RtS, the PIR if required, and make a recommendation to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces for determination.


Community Consultative Committee

A Community Consultative Committee (CCC) has been established by RMS for the Coffs Harbour Bypass. The purpose of the CCC is to provide a forum for discussion between RMS (as the proponent of the Coffs Harbour Bypass project) and representatives of the Coffs Harbour community, stakeholder groups and the local council on issues directly relating to the project.


The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has appointed Dr Colin Gellatly (AO) as the independent chair of the Coffs Harbour Bypass CCC.


Information on the Coffs Harbour Bypass CCC, can be found on the RMS Coffs Harbour Bypass webpage.


More information

To find out more about the Coffs Harbour Bypass you can:

  • visit the Roads and Maritime Services’ Coffs Harbour Bypass webpage.
  • visit our Major Projects website to view project documents and sign up for project updates on the Coffs Harbour Bypass.
  • call our Information Centre on 1300 305 695. If English isn’t your first language and you require an interpreter, please call 131 450. Ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to 1300 305 695.


Coffs Harbour Bypass proposed route

The key features of the EIS concept design.


Click to enlarge.

Map of Coffs Harbour Bypass proposed route as per the preferred concept design released in September 2018.

Image source: Roads and Maritime Services.


Banner image caption: Artist Impression of proposed Shephards Lane tunnel (Coffs Harbour Bypass). Image source: Roads and Maritime Services.


Page last updated: 29/10/2019