Opinion split on North Coast food hub

IT'S THE development that has divided a town, made enemies of friends, and set tongues wagging in the cafes and pub of Bangalow. And with no decision set to be made on the controversial Food Hub until early next year, it seems war will continue to wage in the upmarket village.

What is proposed is a food precinct with three 5000 square metre rural (agricultural) industrial buildings that can be doubled in size to 10,000sqm in later stages; a 3000sqm rural industry building, three rural industry buildings of 800sqm; a 1000sqm food excellence facility. The suggested tenants: Brookfarm (Gourmet Macadamia Products), Byron Bay Cookie Company/ Byron Bay Fine Foods, Salumi Australia (boutique Pork smallgoods) and Byron Bay Ginger Nectar Drink Company.

The value of the development is estimated at $23 million, big enough that the ultimate decision will be made by the State Government's Joint Regional Planning Panel, not Byron Shire Council, which is still reviewing traffic and access issues. A total of 477 car parks are required for the site.

According to independent town planner Paul de Fina, the development at the edge of town is driven by the need of existing local agricultural food companies to expand their existing businesses because of increased local, regional, state, national and international demand.

President of the Bangalow Progress Association Tony Hart has previously told The Northern Star that residents are calling for a public hearing by the joint planning panel to ensure they understood community concerns in full.

Resident and objector Ean Jones said: "This development is far too big. In fact it is the biggest single industrial development ever in Bangalow's or perhaps even the Northern Rivers' history.



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