Ramada units sale back on agenda

PENTHOUSE DA: The Ramada Hotel and Suites in Ballina. Cathy Adams
PENTHOUSE DA: The Ramada Hotel and Suites in Ballina. Cathy Adams

RITZY waterfront penthouses at the Ramada Hotel in Ballina could become permanent homes if a development application to change the use is approved by the council.

The two luxurious penthouses feature king-sized bedrooms, spa baths and gourmet kitchens.

But the current owners are looking to change the use of their properties from tourist accommodation to permanent residences.

In the development application on behalf of the owners, Lennox Head-based planner Steve Connelly says there is a "significant lack of demand and under-utilisation of the premises for tourism purposes".

He also says the penthouses are "physically appropriate" for permanent residential accommodation.

But last year the developers of the Ramada Hotel, Slipway Properties, lost a NSW Land and Environment Court case that would have allowed for 94 of the hotel's 115 units to be used for permanent accommodation.

The court found that the mix of tourists and residents would be unsatisfactory.

Other issues - relating to parking, storage and solar - were also identified.

But Mr Connelly said the decision to apply for the change of use for the penthouses had been considered carefully and based on the court decision.

"The decision gave us excellent guidance, in relation to the concerns about the conflict between permanent residents and tourists," Mr Connelly said.

"This application is not for dual use - this would be straight residential."

Mr Connelly also said the penthouses were physically separated from the rest of the hotel apartments, and so the risk of potential conflict between permanent residents and tourists would be minimised.

"In terms of premium residential properties in Ballina, these penthouses are at the top of the spectrum," he said.

"They would be ideal for someone to live in."

Mr Connelly says there is a "demand for high quality penthouse type units" in the Ballina CBD.

Ballina Shire Council is currently assessing the development application.

Topics:  ballina

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