New shopping centre on the cards for Ballina
Plans for a commercial precinct at Ballina Heights are once again moving forward, after being stalled for a number of years.
The 12ha site on Ballina Heights Drive is zoned B2 and has long been earmarked for a shopping centre, including a supermarket and specialty shops, as part of the area's master plan.
In 2015, a development application was lodged for a $10 million Woolworths supermarket and bottle shop.
However that DA was later withdrawn and plans to develop the site were put on hold.
In August last year the landowners, Vixsun, again approached Ballina Shire Council staff and began initial discussions.
A councillor briefing was held this month.
The council's director of planning and environmental health, Matthew Wood, said a fresh development application had not yet been lodged, but confirmed council staff were in pre-DA talks.
"It's quite a large site, but we anticipate they will only use about one to two hectares of it for the commercial development," he said.
"The proposal is basically for the staged development of the site, so the development would take place over time.
"The next step they (the landowners) need to do is put a formal proposal to the council.
"They have an idea, and they are very keen to develop the land."
Mr Wood said the new plan for the site was a mixture of tenancies.
This would include a supermarket and some smaller specialty shops.
"One way of describing it is something similar to the East Ballina shops," he said.
"This is about the convenience factor.
"The landowners are keen to commence working with the council now, however the timing is hard to estimate.
"We're waiting on detailed designs, but we are very much in pre-DA discussions."
Mr Wood said the Cumbalum and Ballina Heights residential developments were progressing well.
So far there are about 1400 dwellings in the area, and once it's complete, there should be around 2500 homes.