Pacific Highway service centre works to begin soon

CONSTRUCTION could begin within months on one of two proposed service centres on the Pacific Highway at Ballina.

Town planner Steve Connelly said developers Ballina Highway Service Centre Pty Ltd had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over almost a 10 year period to get development approval for a southbound service centre - and now they're going to sell.

"It has taken quite some time and slowly but surely the DA is now pretty much at a stage where it is good to go," he said.

Mr Connelly said the developers were waiting on one modification to the development application to be approved by Ballina Council before they can sell the land on the northern side of River St, near the Ballina interchange.

He said frustration with delays in approving the development application had led the developers to sell the land, rather than develop and operate the service centre as originally planned.

"The guys who are involved expected to be up and running when the Ballina bypass opened."

"Certainly the developers are looking to pursue the sale of the site and there is a person very close to (purchasing) it."

Roads and Maritime Services called for tenders on May 9 to develop, operate and maintain a highway service centre at Ballina. The service centre will be constructed almost opposite the southbound centre, in the vicinity of Nevet Place, off Teven Rd.

Tenders for the northbound service centre close on June 30, but Mr Connelly predicted it would be a while before construction begins.

Mr Connelly said the concept of the southbound service centre had been around for more than a decade, while the northbound centre proposal only became public in May.

"The southbound service centre will certainly beat the RMS site in terms of being constructed. It was put out for tender some months ago and the new guys are ready to rock."

"The RMS is at the very start, so if their journey is half as difficult they will still be five or more years before they are ready to turn some soil."

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