$8.2m Lennox road stalls
THE $8.2 million southern extension of Hutley Drive at Lennox Head is on hold, with Ballina Shire Council failing to provide enough information to its own assessment group.
Traffic studies have found the 2.5km section, which will connect to Skennars Head Road, is urgently needed and should be finished by 2016.
It is hoped that work will start next year.
The project has been identified as an important part of the Ballina and Lennox Head urban development program and will include a shared pathway.
Hutley Drive will feed into the Elevation Estate and the planned Pacific Pines development, easing pressure on North Creek Road.
The council's civil services group manager, John Truman, said his group had prepared and submitted theenvironmental impact statement to the regulatory services group.
“They have commenced their assessment,” he said.
“However, they have req-uested further information.
“We are now in the process of getting that together and once that has happened, it will go back on public exhibition.”
Mr Truman said he was not concerned about thedelays in the approval of the project.
“The regulatory services group treats us (the civil services group) like any other developer,” he said.
“There has to be that transparency.
“It is not unusual for regulatory services to request more information.”
In a letter to Mr Truman, the council's regulatory services group manager, Rod Willis, said a preliminaryassessment of the project had been completed.
But he said his group req-uired clarification of the full extent and scope of the project.
The civil services group has been given until Friday to provide the extra information.
Mr Truman said the southern extension of Hutley Drive was very important to the future of Lennox Head.
“As urban development continues to expand within the local area, the council has recognised the need to extend Hutley Drive,” he said.
The northern extension, which is not included in this development application, would connect Hutley Drive to the Coast Road.