Council to force end to street 'panic' with fence removal
A LENNOX Head landowner will be forced to take down a fence which has been encroaching onto a public walkway leading to the beach for the past 20 years.
The pathway is a popular thoroughfare from Allens Parade to Seven Mile Beach.
The fence has reduced the width of the walkway from the intended 5.5m to 3.5m, and the land itself is classified as community land. One of the options put forward by Ballina Shire Council staff was to sell the land to the landowner.
That would have involved a public hearing to reclassify the land and a sale at market value.
Doug Stinson, who lives in Allens Pde, told the council meeting yesterday the land should be returned to the public.
He said "neighbourhood panic" set in when people realised selling the land to the owner of 10 Allens Pde was an option being considered by council.
"Local residents acted swiftly and 47people signed a petition (opposing the sale)," he said. "The only one to gain would be a single resident ... it would be a permanent loss for all but one."
But councillors unanimously voted to order the landowner to move the fence off the public land.
"I do believe the fence should be moved," Cr Robyn Hordern said. "It's community land; it should not be sold to an individual. Community land is very important."
Cr Jeff Johnson said: "It's a popular walkway down there and the fence is encroaching significantly," he said.
Councillors voted to allow another nearby landowner to leave some garden beds on public land.