EYESORE: Brian Mullens, of Ballina, thinks the new concrete blocks at the end of North Wall in Ballina are ugly.
EYESORE: Brian Mullens, of Ballina, thinks the new concrete blocks at the end of North Wall in Ballina are ugly. Doug Eaton

Ballina council takes on Crown over "ugly" North Wall

THERE is a fight on over Ballina's "ugly" North Wall.

Ballina Mayor David Wright this week wrote to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment claiming Ballina Council was advised "verbally" that the remediation works on the North Wall, finished before Easter, had not been completed correctly.

Cr Wright has asked Mr Stoner to confirm if that is the case.

But a spokesperson for Crown Lands, which is responsible for the wall, said the department was "satisfied the breakwater was constructed correctly".

Cr Wright's letter was sparked by the public backlash to the $1.5m upgrade of the wall, particularly regarding the loss of ocean views at the end of the wall caused by the stacking of concrete blocks called hanbars, which residents have said are "ugly".

"The North Wall is a very popular tourist spot for Ballina and it is extremely disappointing that this work has now resulted in this negative feedback," Cr Wright wrote.

Cr Wright didn't want to comment further until he received a formal response from Mr Stoner.

But the Crown Lands spokesman said "there was a user group, which included council, convened during the design phase for this refurbishment work".

The spokesman said the hanbars were stacked high at the end of the wall "to account for future sea level rise and increases in storm wave height."

"The breakwater's primary function is improving navigation," the spokesman said.

"At the head of the breakwater, a significant amount of armour was required to preserve structural integrity.

"The height of the armour units above the breakwater crest level reduces the potential for wave overtopping, damage to the crest area of the breakwater and risk to the public."



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