The Ballina Shire Council has approved construction of a new Lennox Head Rural Fire Service (RFS) station, after noting a dire biodiversity impact report on the site in September.
The staff report showed the relatively small and fragmented parcel of littoral rainforest is next door to land with rare native trees.
But a lack of viable alternative sites and the public interest in a new fire station and pre-school had led staff in the planning department to recommend the DA’s approval.
Staff notes on the matter’s inclusion in November’s ordinary meeting agenda said they had regarded ‘differing professional opinions’ about ‘likely environmental impacts associated with the proposed development’, including the council’s technical officer’s conclusion that the proposal was likely to have’ a significant impact’ on the site’s ecological attributes.
The project includes earthworks, vegetation management works and infrastructure servicing as well as car parking and vehicular access at 9 Byron Bay Road, Lennox Head and an adjoining road reserve.
Newton Denny Chapelle is the applicant on behalf of Ballina Shire Council.
Independent Councillor Eva Ramsey moved for the approval, with Independent Cr Rodney Bruem seconding.
Councillors present voted unanimously in favour.
Mayor Sharon Cadwallader and Cr Jeff Johnson were absent.