DEVELOPMENTS: Bangalow hardware store to be developed into gallery and studio spaces.
DEVELOPMENTS: Bangalow hardware store to be developed into gallery and studio spaces. Christian Morrow

Artistic change in store for former Bangalow hardware shop

BANGALOW'S iconic hardware store closed its doors last month and might be replaced with artists' studios and retail outlets.

A 'change of use' development application is before Byron Shire Council that would see 6-10 Station St change from hardware and building supplies to art studios, a gallery, six retail outlets for arts and crafts and associated car parking.

The DA has been lodged by Chase Bangalow Pty Ltd and would see the facade of the hardware shop retained for now, "pending the redevelopment of the site in the future".

The lease on the hardware shop finished on March 14, with former operator Ed Perry saying a "confluence" of factors had led to the shop's closure, including lost trade to the internet and larger hardware chains, as well as the downturn after the global financial crisis.

"We know it will be a loss for Bangalow and we thought about that before making the decision but we have hung in for as long as we could," he said.

The hardware DA comes in the wake of the $5 million unit development on the opposite side of Station St that has been twice knocked back by Byron Shire Council.

Former Byron Shire councillor and Bangalow resident Jenny Coman said the artist studio DA looked okay on the face of it but she had spoken against the 9 Station St development when the plan was voted down.

"It was a good decision to knock (the 9 Station St) development back," she said.

"The design was inappropriate and did not comply with the heritage nature of the town nor does it comply with the building requirements for floor space ratio.

"We want development in Bangalow but we want sensitive and compliant development.

"It's a fight to keep Bangalow the way it is but it's worth it."


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