‘Nuts to you’ plea on markets at castle
AFTER three frustrating years battling local environmental planning guidelines Macadamia Castle owner, Tony Gilding has called on MP Don Page to present "nuts to you" awards to Ballina Council and the State Government.
Mr Gilding said he had experienced delay after delay over the years due to the NSW Planning Department finalising the E zone (environmental) Local Environmental Plan for the area.
So this week he decided to call on Mr Page to award the NSW Planning Department, Ballina Shire Council and the NSW Small Business Commissioner a bag of the area's finest macadamia nuts, as a "tongue in cheek" thank you.
"I don't have a problem with being in an E zone, it's an environmental zone where the castle is," he said.
"But you can't tell me you can't hold markets in an E zone...we just want to put local produce on a few tables and sell it." Mr Gilding said he had at least 12 stall holders keen to participate in the markets every Friday. "Everybody thinks the local growers' markets are a great idea...they just say sorry mate the rules don't work."
He said the local growers' markets would help reduce the impact of the loss of traffic past the castle once the Pacific Hwy upgrade was complete. Council strategic planning manager Matthew Wood acknowledged the delay approving a new LEP covering Tintenbar and the Macadamia Castle but said it was due to the NSW Planning Department finalising E zones in the area.
Mr Wood said under the current LEP that applied to the area around the Macadamia Castle there were limitations restricting markets.
As this area is considered an E (environmental) zone, Mr Wood said there were issues the Planning Department was looking at before finalising the LEP that took in E zones in the Ballina Shire.
The NSW Planning Department could not say when the LEP affecting Mr Gilding would be finalised.