PLANS FOR SHOPS STALL
Concerns over increased traffic
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.
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.