Cheers, new brewery might be open by Easter
A craft brewery could open in South Lismore as early as Easter if all goes to plan, owner of the proposed venture, Grant Smith said.
The exhausted, but relieved co-owner of Two Mates Brewing said it had been a long week, and there was still a long way to go, but he was happy a rescission motion against development approval for the brewery was not supported by Lismore City Council at an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.
And now, Mr Smith said, they were looking forward to "providing something good for the community" at 7 Engine St, and were more than willing to address all concerns raised at the meeting.
Cr Adam Guise said he lodged a rescission motion against the approval of the DA as he believed it was causing conflict in the community and unresolved infrastructure issues needed to be addressed.
The rescission motion, supported by councillors Nancy Casson and Eddie Lloyd, was lodged just hours after the council voted to approve the development application on February 9.
He criticised the extraordinary meeting being called so soon to vote on the rescission motion, saying it was not enough time to address all the issues raised.
He advised the council to slow down, "take a chill pill", and listen to the community.
However, Cr Elly Bird said she was disappointed with the way the DA was dealt with by some councillors, saying they had been given "months and months" to consider the proposal and apply conditions, and applicants had the right to have a decision made in a timely manner.
During the public access session, seven people spoke against the rescission motion and eight spoke in support.
Residents living in Engine St who were opposed to approval of the brewery DA listed noise, parking, traffic and sewerage concerns in their submissions.
Stacey Beattie said those opposed to the brewery were not against development, but it was not the right place for a licensed premises.
She objected to being called a NIMBY for opposing the development.
"I found out today what NIMBY means - Not In My Backyard - well this thing is in my front yard," she said, citing possible contamination as her main concern.
Matthew Armour, speaking for another resident, said they were concerned "our street will become choked".
He said: "We are passionate, but we are not unreasonable", and hoped mediation with the owners would resolve some of their issues.
Not all Engine St residents were opposed to the brewery however, with John Adams addressing the council to ensure it knew not all of the Engine St residents were opposed to it.
Robert Farlow said the proposed brewery was "not a booze bar", but instead provided an opportunity to create jobs, provide a place for families to enjoy time together, and inject life back into South Lismore.
Ellen Kronen, speaking on behalf of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce, said there were many benefits to the community if the brewery went ahead, including jobs and the tourism value.
She said if the development application was knocked back, it would send a clear message to businesses not to come to Lismore to invest.
She implored the council to vote against the rescission motion, to send the message that Lismore was "open for business".
Former Lismore City Council general manager Shelley Oldham also spoke in favour of the DA, giving the example of the positive impact of a similar venture in New Zealand.
Damian Chapelle helped prepare the DA for the brewery, and backed Mr Smith's assertion that due process had been followed in their submission, and hoped approval would send a message that a well-prepared DA would be supported by the council.
In his presentation to the council, Mr Smith said they had the opportunity to start up their venture in a number of different council areas, but chose Lismore.
He cited a poll conducted by The Northern Star that showed overwhelming support from readers for the venture.
When asked what he would do if the rescission motion was successful, Mr Smith said: "As a business, as a family, we are haemorrhaging (money) ...we will be taking our business and our opportunity elsewhere."
But the vote means the project will go ahead in Lismore, the next step for the brewery owners is obtaining a liquor licence, which is due to consideration by the Liquor and Gaming NSW on Wednesday.
Crs Eddie Lloyd, Adam Guise and Nancy Casson voted for the rescission motion, Crs Bill Moorhouse, Elly Bird, Darlene Cook and Neil Marks voted for the motion.