A MASTER plan will be developed for the Kingsford Smith Reserve precinct in Ballina, and consultants will be asked to incorporate a four-court sports and events centre into their design.
The old council depot site had been identified as the ideal location for the centre.
But Mayor David Wright said the State Government was reluctant for the council to use the site for thatpurpose.
Instead the council yesterday voted to authorise PDT Architects to prepare a master plan for the Kingsford Smith Reserve area.
A four-court sports and events centre will form part of the master plan.
Ballina Regional Indoor Sports Association spokeswoman Eva Ramsey said the community had wanted the facility located on the olddepot site.
"You have made a commitment to the community and it should be followed through," she told councillors.
"The old depot site ticks all the boxes.
"It is vital to acquire that site. A four-court facility at that location is what isrequired.
"This is an investment in the future of Ballina."
Councillors were split on the issue and a five-five vote left Cr Wright using his casting vote.
He said he voted in favour of including the four-court centre in the motion because the council had previously agreed to support a building of that size.
Cr Robyn Hordern said Ballina needed an events centre.
"I do think the bigger, the better," she said.
Some concerns were raised that the inclusion of a four-court facility at Kingsford Smith Reserve could lead to less space for other sporting groups.
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