Ballina council says 'I don't' to $1 million wedding venue
UPDATE, 3.30pm: A RESCISSION motion to resurrect plans for a rural wedding venue at Tuckombil has been lost.
A slight majority of Ballina councillors voted to dump the rescission motion at a council meeting on Thursday, January 23.
The quorum heard from Tuckombil Lane resident Dr Anika Strahan who was "incredibly disappointed" to see the matter revisited at council.
She aired concerns about buses travelling down a thin and "dangerous" lane, the noise from wedding parties and the potential for pollution to infiltrate the local water system which supplies nearby farms.
"It's easy to see how our quiet rural lane will become a rat house," she said.
After much debate, the rescission motion was defeated.
"I don't think it will be the end of it, but it's nice to see the support council has given to us," Dr Strahan said.
"It's a good result today."
It could resurface if the proponent resubmits the development application, or they choose to fight the refusal in the NSW Land and Environment Court.
Original story: IF YOU are following the progress of the wedding venue development application in Tuckombil, it may be worth keeping stock of the old adage - it ain't over 'till it's over.
A group of residents in staunch opposition to the DA rejoiced when the proposal was finally rejected by a majority of Ballina councillors in December.
They were astonished to find the matter will be raised again at the next meeting on Thursday, January 23.
Ballina Councillors David Wright, Ben Smith, and Phillip Meehan lodged a rescission motion to resurrect the issue.
Cr Meehan is concerned a refusal could cost council tens of thousands in legal fees in the NSW Land and Environment Court, and end in the same result: the approval of the development.
"In the view of council's planning staff, it is technically a compliant application," Cr Meehan said.
"We are aware there have been objections to it from surrounding residents, but the applicants also have rights that council needs to recognise.
"The reality is, if we refuse it, the proponents may go to the Land and Environment Court, and it is my opinion that a review would result in a loss to council."
The $1.05 million proposal would see up to 20 wedding ceremonies a year, catering for a maximum of 120 people.
A number of neighbours, including the authors of 15 objection letters to council, are resolute.
"The recreational area building is obviously central to the objectives of the proponents, but it is fundamental to the objections of the residents," Tuckombil Lane resident, David Hughes said.
"This building will obviously be used for continuous social activity, and the noise generated by groups staying in the cabins will have a debilitating effect on neighbours, not least the family whose house is a mere 25 metres from this proposed structure."