Clouds at Sunnyside
By PETER CATON
ONGOING renovations at Murwillumbah's Sunnyside Mall have been described by the town's chamber of commerce chief as a "disaster" which is chasing away shoppers.
Chamber president Phil Youngblutt yesterday lashed out at the renovation work in and around the shopping centre, and inside the Coles supermarket which has been continuing for months.
In the past couple of days air-conditioning in much of the complex has not been working.
Yesterday shoppers were complaining about a lack of lighting in the complex and some food stocks were dumped after a blackout overnight.
Centre management and the owners of the complex, Macquarie Bank's Countrywide Trust, have declined to comment despite repeated attempts by the Daily News to gain information on the renovations over the past week.
Tweed Shire Council development control manager Garry Smith said the Coles supermarket had development approval for a major refit while the rest of the work on the complex was "more cosmetic".
He said council officers were due to inspect new toilets yesterday which were expected to be open today but they were unaware when other refurbishment was due to be completed.
Mr Youngblutt said the renovations at Sunnyside were chasing shoppers to Tweed Heads although two smaller supermarkets in the town would be benefitting.
"It seems they are a law unto themselves," he added.
"It's certainly driving shoppers out of the town.
"I have no doubt they have good intentions. But the other businesses in there must be suffering and the rest of the town would be doing it fairly hard."