The Lennox Head Community Market at Lake Ainsworth in 2013.
The Lennox Head Community Market at Lake Ainsworth in 2013.

Where will the markets go? Council to decide on future

BALLINA Shire Council will discuss options for the location of the Lennox Head Community Market at this week's meeting.

Councillors will be recommended to proceed with an expression of interest (EOI) process for the management of the Lennox Head Community Market at Williams Reserve.

In October 2019, the council resolved to invite the manager of the Lennox Head Community Market, Mike Stack, to enter into a short-term license for the continued operation of the market at Williams Reserve for the period November 2019 to April 2020.

After a market manager is appointed, the council would then have to prepare a development application (in consultation with the new market manager) for lodgement and determination.

Under this option, the market may occur initially at a smaller scale under the exempt and complying development provisions, while development consent is being obtained for the full-scale market.

Another option, not recommended, is to take the market back to Lake Ainsworth.

"Council's Open Spaces staff are concerned that the relocation of the markets to the Lake Ainsworth Precinct may impact significantly on the condition of the reserve, due to the potential for increased wear and tear and vehicle damage," the report to councillors reads.

"This option is not recommended, on the basis of the potential impacts the market may have on the landscaping and natural environment of the lake precinct and on the amenity of the neighbourhood."

 

The Lennox Community Markets near the Community Centre in 2017.
The Lennox Community Markets near the Community Centre in 2017.

 

The report to council admits the Lennox Head Community Market has operated at Williams Reserve since 2013, up until the imposition of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, despite not obtaining development consent.

"A review of Council's records indicate that the market did not appear to have obtained development consent at Williams Reserve when it was relocated," the report explained.

The Williams Reserve site also has its limitations, with the report mentioning strong southerly winds presenting risks to public safety and infrastructure; issues with access to power supply and public amenities and exposure to the elements (wind and lack of shade) mean the site does not enjoy the level of amenity enjoyed by other North Coast markets.

Consideration also was given to the area of land around Byron Bay Road and Ross Lane on the outskirts of Lennox Head, but it was not pursued further as the land is in private ownership.