Group says no to Roundhouse sale
The future of the controversial Ocean Shores Roundhouse site will be considered at today’s (Thursday) Byron Shire Council meeting.
The recommendation from Byron Shire Council is for the land to be subdivided and sold.
A report on the Roundhouse site said it was the view of council management that the recommendations to council remain unchanged because of the opportunity to potentially realise a large financial return that could be used for a range of uses including much needed refurbishment and upgrade of its extensive existing assets.
President of the Ocean Shores Community Association Jan Mangleson and Ri Fraser the president of the Ocean Shores Art Expo are urging people to attend today’s meeting.
“Where is council’s business plan on exactly how this money will be spent?” they said.
“Is this site going to be sold just to be used for refurbishment and upgrade?
In other words for maintenance?
Fixing up old buildings?
Cr Mangleson said council had virtually ignored the wishes at a public meeting on May 24 which unanimously agreed the land should be retained for public use.
She said the meeting also called for the concept for a potential use of the site to be forwarded to council for its consideration.
“This was done,” Mrs Mangleson said.
“The concept, the work of international architect Jerry Cook, included future development of the site for a cultural facility plus short-term accommodation for visitors, to provide income for ongoing support of the facility.
“A Roundhouse Action Group has been formed, consisting of delegates from shire wide community and cultural organisations.
“It has already met with Professor Arthur Shriberg of Southern Cross University on the formation of a business plan for the Roundhouse site, based on Jerry Cook’s concept.”
“ An effective business plan is an enormous undertaking especially for a community group.
“It requires extensive research and expertise.
“Council asked us to provide this, but it has given us less than a month.
“We ask council to give us time and some council assistance to get this plan done.”
Cr Mangleson said councillors were being asked to make decisions on a development application that was nearly a decade old, on a subdivision that used some of the best land for road base, and in a format that hardly considers council’s own sustainability principles.
She said council had failed to provide a shire cultural facility.
“Every Northern Rivers shire has its own area arts gallery, library and museum,” Mrs Mangleson said.
“Council has vacant land at Byron Bay waiting for the area library, two small museums run by community organisations, but no shire gallery.”