Kyogle shop critical but so is its heritage

THERE is probably nothing AusDevelopments can do that will entirely erase the controversy around its planned shopping centre development in Kyogle's main street.

But the developer's announcement yesterday that the project, which has now been given the final go-ahead by Kyogle Council in the form of a building certificate, would at least match the art deco profile of the buildings it will replace should bring some comfort to those mourning the loss of part of the town's architectural heritage.

Kyogle needs this development.

It is now a little over four years since the town's biggest employer - Norply - was destroyed in a fire that left about 140 people without a job.

That sort of loss would be tough on any of our communities, but in a town of only 4000 people it is especially hard.

Viewed from that angle, the jobs offered by the new shopping centre are critical to Kyogle's future prosperity.

However, so is the town's cultural heritage. As anyone who has so much as driven down the main street can attest, Kyogle is a town of rare beauty and that, combined with its position as a gateway to some spectacular natural scenery, including the World Heritage-listed Nightcap National Park, puts it in a strong position to attract tourists.

So it is crucial Kyogle's new shopping centre protect and, as much as possible, enhance the town's streetscape.



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