Harvey Norman comes to Ballina

RETAIL giant Harvey Norman has confirmed it will open a store in Ballina, despite a controversial start to the planning process.

And construction work could start within 12 months.

The store, which will be built in the Southern Cross industrial estate, will provide at least 120 jobs for locals.

Harvey Norman development manager David Scurr said a further 100 jobs would be provided indirectly.

“We are very positive about the growth here in Ballina,” he said.

The company had planned to build the Ballina store on land it owns between the Good Guys and McDonald’s on the Pacific Highway.

But that site was too small for the proposed development.

Mr Scurr said they ‘fully investigated and discounted’ the Homeworld Ballina site, owned by Macpro Properties.

Instead, Harvey Norman asked Ballina Shire Council to find suitable land for the store. That land was identified as council-owned property in the Southern Cross estate.

But Homeworld Ballina took the council to court over the rezoning of the land. It said the council failed to disclose that the land could be used for bulky goods purposes.

But the NSW Land and Environment Court recently ruled in the council’s favour.

The way has now been cleared for the Harvey Norman building to go ahead.

The council last week approved the development application, and the company is now set to lodge a construction certificate.

Mayor Phillip Silver said he would welcome a Harvey Norman store in Ballina, because it would stop ‘escape spending’ in South-East Queensland.

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