Henwoods are happy at last

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

IT'S TAKEN nearly two years of planning, preparation and patience, but a dream is about to become reality for Maclean's Henwood family.

The Henwood Family Trust ? run by Shane, Melissa, Justin, Kellie, Christine and Steven Henwood ? has had its Yamba backpackers development application approved.

Shane Henwood said construction on the 90-bed hostel in Coldstream Street, Yamba, would begin within a year.

He said the family hoped to have the hostel up and running by Christmas 2007.

Mr Henwood said the family was ecstatic the application had been approved.

"We are so stoked and happy that it's finally come through," he said.

"It's a dream come true that has been a long time coming so we are all very, very happy."

The hostel will include ensuite rooms, bunk rooms, disabled rooms and a lift.

Features include a communal kitchen, entertainment area, lounge area, sun deck and roof deck, which will provide 360 degree views over Yamba.

There will also be an on-site manager's quarters which will be occupied 24-hours-a-day by family members.

Twelve on-site and four offsite car parks will also be included in the development.

The Henwoods faced objections to their plans from some Yamba locals, but Kellie Henwood said the hostel would be a boon for the town.

"We have been told it will bring undesirable people to the area and it will cause parking issues, but to all those people, times have changed quite dramatically," she said. "Due to the ever-increasing cost of living, fuel prices, mortgages and the like, a large percentage of travellers these days are more inclined to spend less on their actual accommodation so they can spend more on seeing the local attractions.

"This means more trade and in turn more money for local businesses."

Mrs Henwood said the hostel would be affiliated with YHA and would attract all forms of tourists.

"We will cater for all holiday makers including backpackers, families, retirees, couples and group bookings including weddings and sporting groups," she said.



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