Michael Balderstone trying to save a few items from the museum after the devastating fire in Cullen street in Nimbin. The fire destroyed The Rainbow cafe, The Nimbin Museum, Tribal Magic and BringaBong shops. Photo: Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star
Michael Balderstone trying to save a few items from the museum after the devastating fire in Cullen street in Nimbin. The fire destroyed The Rainbow cafe, The Nimbin Museum, Tribal Magic and BringaBong shops. Photo: Mireille Merlet-Shaw/The Northern Star

Why it's taken six years to get a DA for fire-ravaged town

IT'S been six years since the Nimbin Museum burnt down, leaving the community without a "heart".

But after a lot of backwards and forwards on the planning, a controversial replacement development has finally been given the green light by Lismore City Council to proceed.

The Cullen St sites have stood vacant since they were burnt on August 14, 2014.

The council on Tuesday granted a deferred commencement development consent to developers planning to build on the site that once homed the museum.

Despite council staff recommending the application be rejected, councillors voted to approve the mixed-use development.

The plan outlines retail shops, take away food and drink premises, a 12-seat cafe and a medical centre.

It's been a long battle to get to this point, with the developers even threatening to pull their development application in March.

The latest issue of contention was the parking, with council staff stating the 16-space carparking shortfall at the site was why the application should be rejected.

However, councillors agreed the developers can contribute $20,000 to the western carpark as an offset to the lack of parking provided on site.

Councillor Elly Bird said she was pleased to see the Nimbin community could now move forward on plans to see their town become revitalised.

"In this COVID environment, it's heartening to see there is still interest to see support for continuing of a building of this scale within the village," she said.

"This is the heart of the village."

>>>SEE MORE: Developers might scrap plans for beloved Nimbin site

>>>SEE MORE: Town 'lost a big part of its heart' with destructive fire

Nimbin Chamber of Commerce and Nimbin Advisory Group spokeswoman Diana Roberts said while there was contention around the parking at the site, the community wanted their village to become vibrant once more.

"It's not an easy community to undertake a major development … (because) people care," Ms Roberts said.

"The plans have changed considerably over the last five years."

Ms Roberts said both the community and the developers have "compromised" over the years, which has caused "stress and discomfort" but everyone wanted the development to revitalise the village.

"The future for our village while resilient is uncertain," she said.

"It's been ground zero for six years and we are so positive to have something happen in the heart of our community."



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