Battle rages over Lot 107
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
LOT 107 is safe for now.
The Shara Boulevard site at Ocean Shores has been at the centre of an ongoing battle between Ocean Shores residents who want it turned into sports fields, and Byron Shire Greens councillors who voted in June to have it recognised as a wildlife corridor.
Byron Shire councillors held a confidential meeting on Tuesday to review the sale of Lot 107 to the Roads and Traffic Authority, which wants the site as compensatory habitat for land destroyed by the Pacific Highway up- grade.
Sources have told The Northern Star that after negotiations between council's general manager, Pamela Westing, and the RTA, the majority of councillors voted on Tuesday to accept an offer for the site and proceed with the sale.
However, councillors Ross Tucker, Jan Mangleson and Diane Woods lodged a rescission motion to stop the deal going ahead.
The rescission motion will mean the site is safe until next year.
Councillors were bound by confidentiality agreements yesterday and could not comment on the proposed sale of the land.
The Brunswick Valley Sports Association has vowed not to give up on Lot 107, and is still involved in a court battle with the council over plans to sell the site.
A phone mediation conference between association and council representatives was held last Thursday, and another is planned for after Christmas.
However, no matter what happens to Lot 107, northern Byron Shire residents could soon have access to sports fields in North Ocean Shores on the Tweed Valley Way.
A motion from Cr Jan Mangleson on Tuesday, to identify land in North Ocean Shores as a suitable site for sports fields, was successful.
"For a community of 8000 people Lot 107 wouldn't have been enough on its own," she said.
"There is a lot of emotional attachment to Lot 107, but it's time to start resolving the issue."
The North Ocean Shores site was originally earmarked by council staff as being in East Yelgun, but Cr Mangleson said updated maps show it was actually North Ocean Shores.