Service centre set for approval
A LONG list of conditions will still need to be met before work can start on a $20 million highway service centre at West Ballina, but it seems the project will finally get the green light tomorrow.
The application was first lodged by former local developer Chris Condon in 2007.
The site – at the Teven Rd interchange on the new Ballina bypass – is also likely to be the future home of the new Big Prawn, after Mr Condon revealed last year he would build a new one, called Neville.
The new Big Prawn would be added at a later date, as part of a separate development application process.
Ballina Shire Council staff have recommended “deferred commencement consent” for the new highway service centre.
The centre would include fast-food outlets, an auto repair centre, tourist information booth and 400 car parking spaces.
One of the main conditions of approval is construction of a floodway and culverts.
“This is to ensure appropriate flood controls are in place on the subject land, to minimise any potential flood impacts on the surrounding properties,” the council report states.
Council staff report that the project – after numerous amendments and lengthy delays – now meets “all statutory and policy requirements”.
There are more than 200 conditions of consent and Mr Condon would be required to pay $3 million in developer contributions.
Steve Connelly, Mr Condon's planner, said the recommendation was a big step forward for the project.
“It has been a bumpy road but it's finally coming to fruition,” he said.
“There are still a lot of pre-consent conditions that need to be met, so that's something we will need to work through.”
A BUMPY ROAD
- April 2007: Developer Chris Condon lodges an application for a highway service centre on land near the Ballina bypass at the Teven Rd interchange.
- August 2010: Mr Condon withdraws the application, just as Ballina Shire Council recommends refusal after deferring a decision four times.
- November 2010: New plans for the centre go on public exhibition.
- June 2011: Council staff recommend deferred commencement consent.