'Vital development' finally approved by council
A NEW district park, including a skate park, is one step closer for Wollongbar.
There were cheers from the public gallery when Ballina Shire Council voted unanimously to adopt a draft concept plan for the precinct on Plateau Drive and to seek planning approval for its construction this morning.
Initially, councillor Sharon Parry moved an amendment to consider incorporating adjacent land, currently set aside for a future child care centre, into the broader park area.
This was a move Mary Birch from the Wollongbar Progress Association called for in a deputation to the council.
Another deputation asked the councillors to simply progress the current concept design.
Cr Parry said the park was an "absolutely vital development for Wollongbar” but that the community needed "a hub that serves a cultural and community purpose as well as sporting an recreational purposes”.
That amendment lapsed after receiving no other support.
Cr Phil Meehan said he felt the overall concept of the park was "fantastic”.
"The broader community do support the district park, the broader community do support the inclusion of the skate park,” Cr Meehan said.
Cr Sharon Cadwallader said she felt the skate park's design would "minimise any fallout that will have been envisaged”.
Cr Jeff Johnson said the lengthy process to lead to this point had been "divisive” and "expensive” for the council.
But he said the result was something that would "be well used and well loved” by a broad range of community members.
Before councillors voted on the matter, Cr Parry said while it had been "a tumultuous process”, she commended those who aired concerns.
"If they hadn't done that, we wouldn't now have the range of facilities that are going into the district park,” she said.
"I am very pleased to see that we're including a range of community building facilities there to develop community infrastructure that is so sorely needed in Wollongbar.”