REVEALED: Plans progress for new surf club
PLANS for a new surf club at Lennox Head have been unveiled, with Ballina Shire Council to start sourcing approvals and funding for the project.
The existing Lennox Head and Alstonville Surf Lifesaving Club has operated for many years on the coastal reserve at Seven Mile Beach.
But the building is old and needs to be replaced.
In the report going to the council this week, staff have said the council's commitment to investigating the new facility had been "predicated on the basis that the same management model currently in place for the Ballina Surf Club property would be implemented”.
That means it would not be for the exclusive use of the surf life saving club.
Instead, it would be a "community building within which a surf lifesaving club can effectively operate”.
The building would include a restaurant and kiosk and community accessible space, as well as areas for surf life saving activities.
Despite some "positive” meetings with surf club members, the council has conceded there were still issues to be worked out.
That includes exactly how much space should be set aside for surf club activities, and how much money the council should provide the club.
"With the proposed future demolition of the existing building and transfer of operations to the new facility, the club contends it will be substantially impacted financially,” the council report states.
"To compensate, the club is requesting Council to make a recurrent annual contribution of $50,000 + CPI to help fund lifesaving services.
"This request is considered to be unreasonably high.
"What has been envisaged is that Council will consider the same approach as employed with the Ballina Surf Club, whereby Council annually contributes funds, possibly to an amount equivalent to the income it receives through the lease of the kiosk within the building.
"At this stage it is unclear what the commercial value of the spaces will be, so it is not appropriate to now agree on figures.”
At Thursday's meeting, councillors will vote on how to move forward with the project.
Staff have recommended the plans be used as a basis for obtaining planning and regulatory approvals, and to pursue funding opportunities.