Kids? camp is approved


WARDELL developer Michael Newman has been given the thumbs-up to start a bootcamp for disadvantaged kids in his home town ? but he is unsure if the project will go-ahead.

In granting approval, Ballina Shire Council placed a number of conditions on the development ? conditions Mr Newman believes are so prohibitive he may not be able to get the environmental educational camp off the ground.

The Richmond River Retreat at Pine Street, will consist of a large camping area featuring eight one-bedroom 'Safari Tents'.

A mess hall will also be built on the 6.576ha property, as well as two amenities blocks, covered barbecue area, swimming pool, separate rock pool, three dwellings for staff accommodation and parking spaces.

The facility has a limit of 45 guests, in addition to staff members.

"I'm wrapped in the approval, I'm happy as Larry about it," Mr Newman said. "But I would like the council to readdress it. We need to look at it in a realistic manner."

The council has listed 66 conditions Mr Newman must adhere to, including limiting staff to eight at all times and developer contributions of about $150,000.

"If we have ten kids with cancer stay with us, we will need more staff than eight. If we have 12 multiple sclerosis sufferers stay with us, we will need 12 carers alone.

"And on face value, before we even turn a spade, we have to put up $150,000 for sewerage and water. It's even before we employ or pay anybody."

"I haven't got any great plans to move ahead.

Ballina Shire Council development services manager Andrew Smith said it was common for the council to impose conditions when granting approval to a development application.

He said Mr Newman was entitled to approach the council to discuss the conditions.

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