Ballina service centre shelved for now

By MARY MANN

AN APPLICATION for a $21 million highway service centre development at Ballina has been sent back to the drawing board.

The Ballina Homemakers Centre and Service Centre proposal, a joint project between The Condon Group and Ballina Waterways Pty Ltd, includes a service centre with fuel bowsers and fast food facilities, plus three showrooms to house 12 bulky goods retail stores.

It is planned for a 17-hectare section of vacant land on the Pacific Highway at West Ballina.

Yesterday, Ballina councillors discussed a report on the development application, in which council staff had recommended it be refused because it lacked information. There was a discrepancy as to whether the bulky goods showrooms were allowed on the land.

Town planner Steve Connelly told the meeting the decision to refuse or defer the application was a matter of procedural fairness.

"I'm asking council to give this applicant a fair go," he said.

Some councillors agreed it was not fair to knock it back and instead voted to have it deferred so the applicant could come back to the council with more information.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader said if the development was not done right, it could have huge ramifications for the town.



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