Industrial area possible site for centre

THE "frustrating" search for a site for a multi-million dollar indoor sports and events centre in Ballina continues, with the focus now on council-owned industrial land.

A number of locations have been investigated for the facility.

The council has already considered the former works depot, open space at Ferngrove Estate and council-owned operational land on the corner of Tamarind Dr and Gallans Rd.

Most recently, the council asked PDT Architects to prepare a master plan for the Kingsford Smith Reserve precinct, incorporating a four-court sports centre.

However a report going to today's finance committee meeting explains that the construction of a "very large bulky building ... within an established park setting" could attract "substantial negative community sentiment".

It has been suggested the centre be built on council-owned land in the Southern Cross Industrial Estate.

The council's general manager, Paul Hickey, said it had been a difficult process.

He said the council was still canvassing options, but the industrial area was a potential solution.

A site would be identified by the commercial services section and once endorsed by councillors, the relevant approvals could be sought.

"It means we can then seek funding from the State and Federal governments for this project," Mr Hickey said. "We already own the land."

Councillors will discuss the issue at today's finance committee meeting.

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