Popular club 'in jeopardy' due to council review
THE future of a popular bowling club could be in jeopardy if it is forced to stop holding bigger events.
Ballina Shire Council is currently reviewing whether Club Lennox needs further approvals to hold outdoor events like the successful Lennox Head Craft Beer and Street Food Festival, which was held on Saturday.
This event saw 1500 people at the club at any given time an estimated 5000 individual visitors to the event between 2pm and 8pm.
Club Lennox also hosts an outdoor music family-friendly event every Sunday.
The council's review has prompted some staff members to start a petition on change.org to support bigger outdoor events at the venue.
More than 1100 people have signed it so far.
Ballina Shire Council's director of planning and environmental health, Matthew Wood, said a number of people had raised concerns about a proposal to renew Club Lennox's lease for land in King Street.
"As part of this it came to council's attention that Club Lennox planned to hold a food event on Saturday," he said.
"Council has asked Club Lennox for information about planned events and activities to enable consideration as to whether or not council approvals are required."
Mr Wood said the council had received complaints from five people about noise at the club in the last few weeks.
The bowling club has had a troubled recent history.
In November 2012 the Lennox Head Community Sports and Recreation Club Limited stopped trading after its parent club, Ramsgate RSL Memorial Club, decided to close the venue.
The club underwent a process of de-amalgamation, and rose from the ashes in December 2013 after the community raised close to $200,000 to save their local bowlo.
Club Lennox general manager, Glen Lloyd, said it would be very hard for the venue to stay financially viable without at least a couple of bigger events a year.
"We want a decision one way or the other, so we can go about our business," he said.
"But if it does go against us, it does put the club in serious financial jeopardy. (These events) are the one thing that has turned the club around over the last six months."
Mr Lloyd said the club was happy to work with the council and neighbours to revolve the issue.
"We've had discussions with residents and (most) of them are very reasonable. I'm sure we can come to some arrangement," he said.
"The next step for us is to submit a development application for the small outdoor area that we have, as per their request, and that will give us an indication on where we stand.
"It's the only outdoor family-friendly venue in Lennox Head and we are in council's hands, I suppose."