Ballina Shire councillors will decide next week whether to go ahead with its controversial plan to sell prime beachfront blocks of community land at Lennox Head to an adjoining caravan park.
A rescission motion to try to overturn the move to sell the blocks opposite the Lennox Surf Club carpark to the adjoining Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park has been lodged and will be debated on Thursday 22 March.
Council resolved at last month’s meeting to sell the blocks of vacant land at 2–4 Ross Street, with Crs Jeff Johnson and Sue Meehan opposed.
A move by Cr Sharon Cadwallader to sell the land and allocate the money instead for the redevelopment of the surf club was defeated.
Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce president Louise Owen appealed to councillors at the meeting not to sell the blocks, saying they were the only council-owned blocks in the area and should be retained for future development of the community’s amenity needs.
Ms Owen said the $1.3 million price for the blocks was ‘a joke’ and well under what the land was worth.
She also questioned where the idea to sell it came from, for whose benefit and why there had been no consultation.
Cr Johnson said it was vital Council kept the ‘strategic’ blocks of land as the area was one of the most congested in the shire and would only get busier as Lennox grew.
He said Council had plans to close the Eastern Road beside Lake Ainsworth, resulting in the loss of car parking spaces.
‘These blocks of land could provide much-needed additional car parking in the future, or other community facilities such as a children’s play area or open space.
‘Projected plans show that Lennox’s population will double over the next 20 years. This growth doesn’t even include the controversial Cumbalum A and B planning proposals that may add an extra 10,000 people.
‘We need to stop the continuing push to commercialise public land in areas that can provide much-needed amenity to local residents and visitors.’