Tavern go-ahead

RESIDENTS of Sunrise Beach will soon have a new place to meet, gather and enjoy a few cold ones.

Byron Shire Council has approved plans for a new tavern, to be known as The Sun, near the Byron Bay Arts and Industry Estate on Bayshore Drive.

The tavern will include a bistro, bar, children's playground and bottle shop with drive-through.

Developers say it should be up and running in one to two years.

The application has previously drawn criticism from some sections of the West Byron Bay community, who claimed it could lead to increased noise and alcohol-related social problems, but at this week's council meeting it received almost unanimous support.

In a public access session at last week's Byron Council meeting, a group of eight local business owners and residents highlighted the benefits the tavern would bring, including a boost to employment and the creation of a social a hub for residents.

The meeting heard Sunrise residents were currently faced with $30 return taxi trip into Byron Bay if they wanted to socialise at a pub.

Tavern architect Dan Connolly told the meeting it would be a place for families, business people and tourists alike: "A beer barn it is not," he said.

The debate centred not on whether the pub should be approved, but whether council should include a condition of consent that poker machines be banned. The developers have signalled they have no intention of installing poker machines, but some councillors wanted to prevent them from possibly being installed in the future.

However, the attempt was thwarted when councillors were told that imposing a condition was beyond their powers.

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