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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

New school for controversial site in Lennox

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Super Lot 5, corner of Snapper and Montwood Drives, Lennox Head. Photo David Lowe.

Clarence Property, the developer of Lennox Head’s Epiq estate, has announced the sale of Super Lot 5, on the corner of Montwood and Snapper Drive, to the NSW Department of Education.

The 4.2ha site will now become the site of the new Lennox Head Primary School, having previously been mooted by the developer as the location of a retirement facility and then a medium-density integrated housing development of over 100 dwellings.

Having run into problems with Ballina Shire Council advancing that idea, Clarence Property appealed to the NSW Department of Planning to change the planned use of the land, but that has now been set aside by the new announcement.

Ballina Cr Kiri Dicker, a critic of the housing development plan, has enthusiastically welcomed the latest news, describing it as an enormous win for the community and a ‘perfect site’ for the Lennox Head Public School.

On social media, Cr Dicker said, ‘I still can’t stop smiling at the news that our new school will be located right in the heart of the Epiq Estate, which is home to so many young families.

Lennox Head Public School groaning at the seams – temporary pod class rooms filling the oval. Photo David Lowe.

‘It will be a few years off being ready to accept students but we can finally get our kids out of cramped demountables and into a state of the art facility,’ she said.

Principal welcomes announcement

The existing school’s development plans have been stymied since 2017 by the discovery of almost 600 Aboriginal artifacts in the grounds (it’s near the Lennox bora ring), along with the explosive growth in local population.

Principal Deborah Langfield has welcomed the announcement of the new school, with the existing building already at capacity.

Super lot 5 (outlined in red), within the larger Epiq estate, Lennox Head.

As yet there have been no announcements of building plans, or detail on how the proposed school development will deal with the acid sulphate soils on site, avoid run-off to the wetland downstream or protect neighbouring endangered ecological communities.

Additional traffic impacts on surrounding streets are likely to be felt, with Ballina Council already planning a new footpath on Montwood Drive as traffic in this formerly quiet corner of Lennox Head becomes steadily more intense.

Local historian Robyn Hargrave has noted that the location of the proposed school will be close to the site of the original North Creek Public School, 141 years ago, at the western end of Henderson Lane.

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