Lennox Head Update From Council

Lennox Head Sports Fields (Pacific Pines Development)

The long awaited sports fields that were promised as part of the Pacific Pines development at Lennox are crawling closer to reality. The development is now owned by the Bank of Scotland (BOS) (after the previous owners went bust) and will be developed in conjunction with Lend Lease.

The current hold up is due to a dispute over the amount of community contributions (Section 94 funds that are levied towards local roads, parks, community facilities, etc). BOS recently provided a briefing to Councillors on the latest plans and confirmed that ‘it was still committed to the project’.

The sports fields are required to be completed as part of stage 1 of the project. It is anticipated that the football, cricket, hard stand area (netball, etc) along with an amenities building and club-house will be completed within a year (fingers crossed).

E Zone Review

Council has spent years and a considerable amount of rate-payers funds to complete its LEP (Local Environmental Plan) renewal program. The LEP is the planning document that shows all the different zonings throughout the shire and is Council’s primary planning document.

About 18 months ago, the NSW government endorsed Ballina’s LEP except for areas that had an ‘E Zone’ attributed to it. The interim review has now been completed and according to Council’s strategic planner, Matt Wood, the interim report contains a number of ‘factual errors, omissions of important information and misrepresentation of material’.

The review is calling for the removal of an environmental zoning for ‘scenic escarpment’, ‘buffer zones’ and ‘water catchment areas’. This would result in a  rural or residential zone being applied to areas such as Condon Hill at Lennox and land adjacent to the Stewarts Farm development at Skennars Head. An example of what could happen in this situation is that a senior’s housing development would become ‘permissible’ in these areas, despite opposition from both Council and the community.

Cycleways and Coastal Path Update

The long awaited cycleway linking East Ballina to Lennox Head is currently under construction. State Government grants will largely fund this path up to Tara Downs and will be completed later in the year. Further grant funding will be available this financial year (2014/15) which will see the cycleway extended to the Coast Road roundabout at Lennox.

At last month’s Council meeting, the coastal recreational path was also approved with funding for the Angels Beach to Sharpes Beach section funded in this years budget. This path will largely follow the existing ‘track’ from Sharpes Beach to Pat Morton Lookout with a variety of surfaces including concrete, boardwalks and gravel. A number of ‘finger paths’ and lookout platforms are also proposed. The proposed route is available for viewing on Council’s website under attachment Item 8.3 (June 2014 Council Agenda).

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