Club wooed by developer

A MULTI-million-dollar futuristic redevelopment plan could turn the Murwillumbah Bowls and Sports Club into the town's biggest supermarket complex - with bowls continuing to take place on the roof.

Members of the club are being asked to vote next month on a possible sale of their site for the project.

If they agree to any potential sale the club land will then be offered for sale by tender to the shopping centre devel- oper and anyone else who is interested.

But Tweed Shire Council's planning chief Vince Connell has warned the immediate surrounding area is residential, the current zoning of the land does not suit a supermarket and the council would need to study further details.

Secretary manager of the club Helen Avery said the members' meeting, to be held on Sunday, April 5, had been prompted by the offer to redevelop the site.

Under the plan a new clubhouse and greens would be constructed on the upper level, possibly with synthetic grass, although real grass was still possible.

The move follows a desperate search around the heart of town for sites for a new supermarket after Tweed Shire Council refused to grant approval for supermarkets in South Murwillumbah because that is outside the town CBD.

The bowls club land stretches from Commercial Road to Brisbane Street, just two blocks south of the Sunnyside Mall shopping centre.

“We've been approached by a devel- oper, but we have to get permission off the members to sell the property,” said Ms Avery.

“We are telling our members we have been approached, and what they have offered us the club could never afford to do.

“We've been down and talked to the council. They have come back to us and said they would take it on board and think seriously about it.”

Ms Avery said if members gave the go-ahead to a potential sale the next stage would be to call tenders “and see what else is out there”.

“You just can't go with what one fellow has offered,” she said.

“If we get permission, we would have a brand new clubhouse, probably with synthetic greens.

“We want to put them under cover, with lights so we can bowl 24/7.

“And when it's pouring down rain they can still come and bowl.”

Mr Connell, the council's director of planning and regulation, said the current zoning of the land as recreational did “not really suit” a proposed shop development, and the council development control plan for the area approved last year nominated the preferred future land use as residential.

“We would need to see further details,” he added.

Under current council rules any supermarket would be restricted to the present CBD. Last year the council moved to sell off some of its own CBD land used for car parking in deals which could encourage redevelopment for a supermarket. One block is adjacent to Sunnyside Mall.

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