Catholic Street - Church wants to buy a road from council
A PLAN by the Catholic Diocese of Lismore to buy a street for its own exclusive use will be debated by councillors at next Tuesday's Lismore City Council meeting.
The L-shaped section of Brunswick St runs one-way between Orion St and Bangalow Rd.
The street already functions as a "de facto parking area for Trinity Catholic College students and staff" according to council papers, with the church paying for upgrades including parking.
The purchase would enable the Diocese to formalise the street "as a private driveway" and improve accessibility between the school buildings and the sports fields opposite.
All costs would be covered by the church with the sale price set at the market value of the land.
However, the road is still used occasionally by the public as an access road which connects the Keen St retail strip directly to Bangalow Rd and beyond.
Staff have also warned that council may one day need to buy the street back to funnel traffic to a new bridge over the Wilsons River.
"A sale of the land carries a significant risk for council... should it be required for future use... council could have to buy the land back at increased cost," the papers state.
Lismore City Council executive director of infrastructure services Gary Murphy said the church had invested plenty of money into car parking and was the main user of the road area.
"This (sale) lets the school manage safety (issues) themselves," he said.
He said while it was a public road the amount of non-school traffic using the road as a thoroughfare was negligible.
"The traffic committee has suggested a traffic management study be done to ensure there is no (major) impact so that would be a condition of sale," he said.
Mr Murphy said if there were people out there for whom the closure would become a major inconvenience, there would be an opportunity for the community to make a submission.
"(Staff believe) there's no real downside in saying yes, hence the recommendation with conditions."