Service centre plan withdrawn
LENNOX Head developer Chris Condon has withdrawn his application for a $20 million service centre on the new Ballina bypass.
A report which was to be presented to Ballina Shire councillors at tomorrow's meeting recommended the proposal be refused.
The service centre was proposed to have a petrol station, truck service centre, two food outlets, an auto repair centre, two fast food restaurants and car parking.
But the council's regulatory services group manager, Rod Willis, yesterday confirmed the application had been officially withdrawn.
“Mr Condon has since indicated that he will lodge a completely new application,” he said.
“So we will have to wait and see what happens.
“The regional plan identifies a need for a highway service centre in the Ballina area and in the vicinity of the Bruxner and Pacific highways.
“There is a fair amount of public interest for a rest stop and somewhere where people can conveniently refill so a properly sited and designed highway service centre is desirable.
“However, it is a challenging task.”
Council staff said that despite being granted four deferrals, Mr Condon had still ‘not suitably addressed the outstanding technical matters'.
Speaking on behalf of Mr Condon, Lennox Head planner Steve Connelly admitted the service centre application was withdrawn because too many changes had been made over the past three-and-a-half years.
“We started off with an idea, but it was tinkered with and modified to accord with the needs of many, including the RTA, neighbours, council and other rules,” he said.
“It was tinkered with so much it was becoming unwieldy.
“The better course for all concerned was to basically package it up in a nice neat bow.
“We hope to relodge the application in the next two weeks or so.”
But Mr Connelly denied that a revamped development application would require major changes.
“Ninety-nine per cent of it is there and it's good and sound,” he said.
“It will involve some changes to the internal layout to make things work for the RTA.
“The important thing will be to get the whole thing perfectly ship-shape.”