Con­cerns over in­creased traf­fic

The Northern Star - - FRONT PAGE - HAMISH BROOME hamish.broome@north­ern­

DE­CI­SIONS on three ma­jor projects in the Bal­lina Shire were made by the Joint Re­gional Plan­ning Panel last week.

The JRPP de­ferred ap­proval of a planned $20 mil­lion shop­ping cen­tre in Len­nox Head.

Bal­lina mayor David Wright said the five mem­ber panel, which in­cludes three per­ma­nent mem­bers plus Cr Wright and deputy mayor Keith Williams, voted unan­i­mously to de­fer ap­proval due to traf­fic con­cerns.

Cr Wright said the orig­i­nal ap­proval for the Epiq es­tate capped traf­fic move­ments to 7400 per day un­til a planned thor­ough­fare along Hut­ley Drive was com­plete.

The shop­ping cen­tre would have ex­ceeded that num­ber by about 1000.

“We’ve al­ready given ap­proval for Stage Four (of Epiq), and once you add the shop­ping cen­tre it goes over by 1050 (traf­fic move­ments),” he said.

“No one wants to refuse the shop­ping cen­tre but we can’t have a shop­ping cen­tre open­ing up (if) it goes over the num­ber of ve­hi­cles al­lowed.”

He said the pro­po­nent had un­der­stood that and had promised not to let Wool­worths move in un­til Hut­ley Drive was com­plete.

“But that’s putting the cart be­fore the horse, we thought,” Cr Wright said.

The con­struc­tion of Hut­ley Drive was cru­cial to Len­nox Head be­cause with­out it the Epiq de­vel­op­ment has only two en­trances and ex­its.

Hut­ley Drive was pro­gress­ing with the pur­chase of a va­cant block to link the road with the Coast Rd round­about but Cr Wright said the coun­cil still didn’t have the cash to com­plete the plan.

“All we’ve done is ask the de­vel­oper to hold off un­til the Hut­ley Rd ex­ten­sion is planned, ap­proved and fi­nanced.”

The JRPP also ap­proved plans for an $8 mil­lion in­door sports cen­tre, sub­ject to mi­nor amend­ments.

The cen­tre plans in­clude two bas­ket­ball courts, ameni­ties, a kiosk, re­cep­tion area and car park­ing.

It will be lo­cated on the site of the new Bal­lina High school in Cherry St and was planned to open at the same time as the new school early next year.

Ma­jor ren­o­va­tions and up­grades to Len­nox Head Pub­lic School will also go ahead af­ter JRPP ap­proval and will in­clude the re­moval of de­mount­able class­rooms, build­ing a new bas­ket­ball court, and a re­fur­bished ad­min­is­tra­tion block.

Photos: Con­trib­uted

DE­CI­SION DE­FERRED: A planned $20 mil­lion shop­ping cen­tre at Epiq in Len­nox Head was de­ferred.

ARTIST IM­PRES­SION: CCN Ar­chi­tects de­signed the shop­ping cen­tre for the Epiq de­vel­op­ment at Len­nox Head.

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