Progress is in the plans
BUSINESSES surrounding a proposed $30 million riverfront shop-top development in Ballina have thrown their support behind the project, saying it could help revitalise the town centre.
Reside Living has lodged an application with Ballina Shire Council for a 36-unit building on the old Sundowner Motel site on the corner of River and Kerr Sts.
The existing motel would be demolished to make way for the development.
It would include a restaurant, five commercial tenancies, public boardwalk access along the riverfront and the retention of one of the site's iconic Norfolk Pine trees.
The Ballina RSL Club - which has recently undergone a major external makeover - is on the same block as the proposed development.
General manager Bill Coulter has written to the council, saying the club was "very pleased" with Reside Living's plans.
"The scale and character of the development fits our desires for the western part of the Ballina CBD and appears to be consistent with council's planning for the locality," he wrote.
"Given the club's previous commitment to providing foreshore accessibility, we are particularly delighted to see the proponents provide a wide pedestrian boardwalk along the foreshore."
Mr Coulter also said that, over the past 12 months, the club had observed "a concern on the part of our membership in relation to the lack of trade jobs and commercial activity generally".
Manager of Ballina Locksmiths, Rachel Rushton, also made a submission to the council, saying she believed Ballina had "lost its way" in terms of fostering commercial activity.
"This application (from Reside Living) represents a shot in the arm for Ballina in terms of jobs and commercial activity," she wrote.
John Piercy from the Shell Service Station in River St agreed.
His submission to the council also supported the redevelopment of the old Sundowner Motel site.
"I have seen the plans and feel that this building will help Ballina greatly," he wrote.
"Ballina needs an urgent injection of confidence."
The application is currently being assessed by the council, with staff expecting to have a report for a decision by February.