The Lismore City Council is considering closing a public road and selling it to the Catholic Church despite concerns from local residents.
The Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Lismore Diocese applied for the closure at the start of this year, and the council had given the proposal in-principle support subject to public consultation.
The Church wants exclusive use of a part of Brunswick Street which runs between Trinity Catholic College and parklands adjacent to the Wilson River.
The council published the proposal in its publication Local Matters in March, and received five objections from residents.
Nearby residents have complained that the road closure would result in loss of access to the parklands, and force them to access the park via the busier Orion and Dawson Streets roundabout, which channels all traffic from Bangalow Road into Lismore.
Concerns have also been raised about loss of access for emergency vehicles.
Despite those concerns, the staff recommendation to the councillors is that the road be sold to the Church.
The recommendation to be considered this evening would authorise the general manager to negotiate a market value sale price for the land, and apply to the state government for permission to close the road.
Stipulations of the sale include that the Diocese pay all costs associated with the proposed closure, and accept that the land would not have any building entitlements.
The council would also require mechanisms to be included in the sale, to the satisfaction of its solicitors, protecting the council’s interests should the land be deemed to be required as part of a proposed future river crossing in this vicinity.
The matter will be determined when the council meets this evening at 6pm.