An artist's impression of the proposed new building at 74 Ballina St, Lennox Head.
An artist's impression of the proposed new building at 74 Ballina St, Lennox Head.

$2.6 million DA is ‘start of the boom’ for Lennox Head

PLANS for a $2.6 million development at Lennox Head were approved at the Ballina Shire Council meeting last week.

The DA includes the demolition of the existing post office building in the main street to make way for a new three-storey building with food and drink premises and retail shops (ground and second floors) business premises (second floor) and shop top housing comprising of two residential dwellings (third floor).

The ground floor of the development will also incorporate Australia Post, alfresco dining and amenities.

It’s a development which has divided the community.

During the public exhibition period, the council received 17 submissions in support of the DA, and 17 submissions in opposition.

The main concerns centred around the building’s height and scale, and insufficient carparking.

“The part of the building above our height limits is a small area related to a lift, four square metres,” Ballina council’s strategic planning manager, Matthew Wood, said at the council meeting.

“It’s not uncommon for some building areas to run over.

“It’s about the level of impact, and this development well and truly fits within the standards.”

Councillor Sharon Parry suggested it was worth considering a three-hour parking limit in town, due to the cumulative effect of a shortfall in onsite carparking for this development, and reduction in parking spaces in town due to council’s village renewal.

“We know some people who work in the shops are parking on the main street all day,” Cr Parry said.

“Would it be appropriate for council to consider a three hour limit on the main street?”

Mr Wood said the loss of parking from this development was negligible and traffic studies indicated it was easy enough to get a parking spot on the main street at present.

Via public submissions, some residents argued a new building of this type would add vibrancy to the village.

And Mayor David Wright agreed the development fits with Lennox’s new identity.

“This is the start of the boom,” he said on Thursday.

“We are already seeing the redevelopment of houses in Lennox, things have changed.”

All councillors except Cr McCarthy voted in favour of approving the development.