A new Ramada penthouse owner opposes change-of-use application.
A new Ramada penthouse owner opposes change-of-use application.

Penthouse plans cause clash

THE new owner of one of the Ramada Hotel penthouses has objected to an application to change the use of the other penthouse.

Elizabeth Katsidis, in a letter to Ballina Shire Council, said her family bought the penthouse in recent months.

But she is concerned the other penthouse owner, John Gosper, wants to live permanently in his luxury waterfront unit.

She said it would have been appropriate for him to seek her approval before re-lodging the devel- opment application with the council.

"For example, I object to the blocking of the corridor utilising a gate which effectively blocks the nearest fire exit to our property," she wrote.

"Surely this could be a major safety issue.

"I believe it will be detrimental to hotel operations to have adjoining penthouses with different uses, i.e. one tourist and the other permanent occupation.

"I can see the potential for conflicts which may be detrimental to the hotel's operations."

Ms Katsidis also said quality developments, such as the Ramada, would be needed to help expand Ballina's tourism industry.

"Furthermore, as an investor from outside the Ballina Shire, I should be able to reply on council's original planning decisions, without being under constant threat of legal challenge," she wrote. "Council needs to vigor- ously support its original planning decisions."

Meanwhile the council has received several other letters asking for the public exhibition period to be extended.

These include letters from Ballina Booking Service, which operates the hotel, and businesses within the complex such as the Mumtaj Indian Restaurant, la Cucina di Vina Italian restaurant, John James Hair Saloon and the Ballina Convenience Store.

It is understood these businesses are waiting for legal advice on the matter.

The owners' corporation has also asked for a two-month extension. The council's regulatory services group manager, Rod Willis, said the development application would be brought before the elected councillors for a decision.



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