Surf club’s major rent hike to be subsidised by council
A SURF Club’s significant rent increase is set to be heavily subsidised.
An encroachment of the Brunswick Heads Surf Life Saving Club upon Native Title land contributed to the significant increase in rent.
A development application for the club’s refurbishment was lodged with the council in September, 2018 and the works, including demolition and construction of a new surf club building and training rooms and other facilities were approved last August.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a $3.8 million grant for the redevelopment in May 2019.
Byron Shire Council considered the club’s future lease as a confidential item during the ordinary meeting on Thursday.
At the meeting, the council resolved to lease the premises to the club for a further five years.
This is to be leased at a “starting annual rental” of $3000, up from the existing rate of $496.
The council voted to provide “a subsidy up to $2500 … to cover any additional costs associated with the annual lease”.
Ray Linabury, who chairs the club’s rebuild committee, said he was pleased with the council’s decision to offer a rent subsidy.
When he first saw the $3000 figure, he was concerned about how they would cover the cost.
“I thought there is at least another 20 pub raffles that we have to run to pay for that over a year,” he said.
“It’s very pleasing that the council recognise what we do.”
The existing club was built more than 50 years ago and while it served its purpose then, planning for a redevelopment has been in the works for about 15 years, he said.
The council’s lease documents are expected to be send to Crown Lands, and the ongoing lease will then be referred for ministerial approval.
The council will support a move for the club’s carparking to be located within the council road reserve rather than on Crown land.
Councillors also voted to “note that council is committed to continuing discussions with Native Title Interest owners in relation to this and other Crown reserves in the shire”.