$2.6 million DA ‘exactly what the town needs’
A DEVELOPMENT application to demolish the existing post office building in Lennox Head's main street to make way for a new three-storey building is currently on public exhibition.
The $2.6 million proposal would include food and drink premises and retail shops (ground and second floors) business premises (second floor) and shop top housing comprising of two residential dwellings (third floor).
The ground floor of the development will also incorporate Australia Post, alfresco dining and amenities.
The DA has received plenty of support from the local business community, with many business owners expressing their support in submissions to Ballina Shire Council.
Owner of Lennox Head Pizza and Pasta, Nathan Meredith, told the council in his submission that the new development was "exactly what the town needs".
"Myself and other business owners are very quickly out growing their current premises with the growth of the town," he said.
"As a business owner you wish to move to a larger premise however there is never anything available.
"They have designed an attractive building with wonderful use of space... it will drive more customers into town, which will have a positive impact all the economy of the village."
David Westaway from Surfit 24/7 Fitness agreed the new building would make a positive contribution to Ballina St.
"It's a good looking building with a third storey that is set a long way back from the street," he wrote in his submission.
"It's mixed use design will mean there are more people in town after hours which will improve safety and security via passive surveillance."
Mortgage broker Zain Peart has an office in the existing building at 74 Ballina Rd and said the demolition and building works would cause "a lot trouble and disruption" for his business.
"Despite this, the overall proposal to modernise Lennox Head, create more retail and residential space and overall improve the look of both Ballina St and Park Lane greatly outweighs the disruption I will have to go through," he wrote.
"This building will certainly help in this vision and make more spaces for professionals and businesses in town."
However not everyone is happy with the plans.
Long-term Lennox resident Malcolm Milner said he was "completely opposed" to the DA.
He wrote there was not enough parking included in the proposal, and that allowing three-storey developments would allow the density of the village to increase.
Residents Kevin and Patty Gates said they believed the project was out of character for the seaside village.
"It is critical now that the beachside culture which defines Lennox is not traded... in the name of progress," they wrote.
Other residents objected to the height of the proposed building ‒ it is planned to be 9.7m instead of the limit of 9m ‒ saying it would set a precedent.
It is this issue which also concerns the Ballina Environment Society.
"No matter how good the design may appear, allowing three storeys sets a dangerous precedent," the society's secretary, Fiona Folan, wrote in their submission.
"The deficit of 13 spaces with provision of only 10 spaces for nine strata titles including two two bedroom units, will place an unacceptable strain on the CBD infrastructure.
"The micro tenancy strata on the ground floor also sets a dangerous precedent for the size of future subdivisions in the CBD."
Submissions on the DA close on March 10. For more information visit www.ballina.nsw.gov.au.