Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, president of the Suffolk Park FC Chris Lonergan, vice president of the Suffolk Park Progress Association Patsy Brosnan and MLC Ben Franklin.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson, president of the Suffolk Park FC Chris Lonergan, vice president of the Suffolk Park Progress Association Patsy Brosnan and MLC Ben Franklin. Christian Morrow

Ratepayers should be 'mighty proud' of helping to save land

BYRON Shire Council hasconfirmed it has successfully negotiated the purchase of the Beech Road education land in Suffolk Park.

Mayor Simon Richardson said working closely with the NSW government through the Honourable Ben Franklin MLC, had resulted in an outcome that would contribute to the wellbeing and connectively of the family suburb for generations to come.

"Our residents' voice was very strong in letting the state know that this piece land was of high social value and should remain in community hands, and we are grateful this was respected," he said.

"Whilst the land could not be gifted or donated to council, the purchase price of $900,000 was considerably lower than the price originally asked and we thank Mr Franklin for his unwavering support in helping us secure the land at the best available price.

"We're also pleased that as per council's request, the money from the sale will stay in Byron Shire for education purposes."

The land will be funded from developer contributions that have been collected exclusively to fund open space projects in this area.

"Once it was withdrawn from public sale, the issue was achieving a price that was acceptable to both the council and the government. Today we have achieved that," Mr Franklin said.

"And best of all, the $900,000 paid for the land will be re-invested in infrastructure for schools in the local area- another great outcome for the community."

The site has been used for sport and recreation activities by the Suffolk Park community for over 10 years and has become integral to the long term health and well-being of Suffolk Park families.

The Beech Road land was originally ear marked as an education site but as it was no longer required, recently put up for sale.

The successful purchase means Byron Shire Council will now develop a Plan of Management consultation with the Suffolk Park community to determine the preferred uses of the site.

The land will be designated as 'Community Land' and retained in perpetuity for community use.

"It's an exciting time ahead for the site, and council looks forward in working with the community," Cr Richardson said.

"The community of Suffolk Park should be mighty proud. Councillors voted as one to support you. Council staff worked proactively to support you.

"All major political parties worked diligently to support you. You rallied and spoke with one powerful voice. And it was heard and the park is yours!"


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