Just after one of the most successful events ever held at Club Lennox, complaints by some of the neighbours are putting pressure on management. The event in question was the recent Street Food and Craft Beer Festival, which saw up to 5000 visitors attend the Club to enjoy food and music on the greens. The music was turned off at 8pm and the Club was empty by 10.
Council, who leases the land to the Club, has been forced to investigate these complaints, and in the process, a small can of worms has been opened with regard to the nature of events held at the Club and the use of parcels of land that form the larger Club premises.
Club Lennox has a strong and important relationship with Council and receives discounted rent on the leases held. It’s not a simple structure or a straightforward agreement, but it is crucial to the stability of the business.
According to Club General Manager, Glen Lloyd, Council has always been very supportive and generous in their dealings with the Club.
But in this latest test Council rules require the Club to submit a Development Application for the use of outside areas previously only used for bowling.
It threatens the future of outside events, and in particular Sundays on the green, which, according to Glen, have been the single most important thing that has happened there in years.
‘Our responsibility is primarily to our community. We give back in so many ways through sponsorship and support of dozens of sporting clubs and charities. It’s a throwaway line these days, but for us it is really true. We want to be able to continue performing this vital role.’
‘These Sunday events have meant an enormous improvement in the financial position of the Club,’ he said, ‘and help ensure that we can stay connected to our community.’
‘Before we opened up the greens and the dining area to provide one of the only child- friendly, safe, outside eating and drinking areas in Lennox Head, the Club was in danger.
‘Sundays have completely turned the business around.’
And despite initial fears about how the bowling fraternity might feel, it’s popular with them too.
Ross McKinnon, a regular bowler at Club Lennox, says he loves the idea, and to his knowledge, most of the bowlers do too. ‘They understand what it means to the future of the Club,’ he said.
But for now the community and Club users must wait as Council and Club Lennox go through the regulatory motions.
A decision on the DA is not expected before July.