Future of former restaurant site decided by council
A UNANIMOUS vote by Ballina Shire Council has changed the future of a well-known building in East Ballina.
Originally erected in the 1960s, the building at 23 Compton Drive used to be known as the Shaws Bay Cafe and also as the Sandbar Restaurant.
Matt Wood, the council's director of Planning and Environmental Health, said the council agreed to change the zoning of that land from an environmental protection D7 zone to a low density residential zone R2.
"That enables the site to be developed for a house in that piece of land," he said.
Council had specifically resolved in March 2016 that the Coogee St stairs remained in public ownership and accessible to the community.
"Where the structure is at the moment, it has some encroachments," Mr Wood said.
"Part of those encroachments are to the road reserve, and part are onto some land immediately next to the public steps that run up to the top of the hill.
"Council's decision was to rezone the land, but there was also a separate decision of council to ensure that the steps and that accessway the community uses are to remain in public ownership."
Council owns a portion of land adjacent to the site, which it may decide to sell to the current owners of 23 Compton Drive to be part of the land to develop, but that will not include the Coogee St steps, Mr Wood explained.
"(That land council ownz) is only 150sqm, it's not a significant area," he said.
"The land where the restaurant is about a 500sqm lot, and what the proponent there was wondering was whether council would sell a small part of that 150sqm to give it a bit more area.
"Council decided that the decision on sale of the land is a separate decision for another day if, in fact, the people who own that house would ultimately try to buy that land."
Vegetation and bushfire risks were also addressed during the rezoning process, Mr Wood said.
"There will be some restrictions on the title of the land and also some particular controls to make sure that the development of the site is responsive to those restraints," he said.
Now that the land has been rezoned, Department of Planning needs to complete the zoning changes that the council has endorsed, and then the landowner can launch a development application for a house to be built.