Glen Connor, owner of the Oasis restaurant.
Glen Connor, owner of the Oasis restaurant.

Restaurant owner's business battle

A LENNOX Head businessman, who closed his restaurant after discrepancies over approval to serve alcohol in an outdoor space, will meet with council this week to discover the fate of his business.

Glen Connor was operating the Oasis Restaurant on Ballina St in Lennox Head until February, when he was informed he did not have the consent to serve alcohol in a plaza outside his restaurant.

Mr Connor said he initially notified council and licensing in October about his approved changes to the boundaries to his restaurant, made by his real estate, because he wanted everything to be “legal”.

Licensing authorities told him in December they did not think his outdoor dining area was approved and in February he received official notification it was not approved.

After re-submitting a development application (DA), he received a letter from Ballina Shire Council informing him it may cost approximately $100,000 in water, sewerage, rates and parking contribution payments to allow him to use the area.

Mr Connor closed his restaurant as a result.

“I have not worked for four months. I have a mortgage that is killing me and I still have to pay rent on the business that I have no money to pay,” he said.

“It got to me so much I had to go away for a few days but I am back and ready to take them on.”

Ballina Shire Council approved Mr Connor's DA recently, council's regulatory group services manager Rod Willis said.

“(It) has been approved subject to conditions, some of which are onerous on him in his perspective.

“We met with him (on Friday) and we are assessing that.”

Mr Willis said Mr Connor would still be liable for a “substantial amount” of money to cover the use of extra space outside the business.

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