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Fishheads owners want rent waived for unusable cafe

UNREALISED: An artists impression of the redeveloped Shelly's on the Beach cafe. The redevelopment has not been delayed by issues of land ownership.
UNREALISED: An artists impression of the redeveloped Shelly's on the Beach cafe. The redevelopment has not been delayed by issues of land ownership.

THE new owners of Shelly's on the Beach cafe at East Ballina have asked the council to waive their rent because of delays in the redevelopment process.

Ralph Mamone and Mark Sims - who own Fishheads at Byron Bay - bought the beachfront cafe in 2011.

An application to demolish the existing building and redevelop the site has been approved, but so far Fishheads has not been able to enact the approval.

That is because the cafe is located on both council-owned operational land and Crown land.

Fishheads pays just over $34,000 in rent to the council, and about $10,000 a year to Crown Lands.

Council staff have been negotiating with Crown Lands to compulsorily acquire the residual of Crown land.

In a report going to the commercial services committee tonight, council staff say this process "may take some time as, amongst other things, the proposal to acquire this portion of Crown land must be placed upon public exhibition".

Until they can proceed with the redevelopment, the owners are seeking 100% rent reduction for both the council-owned portion of land and the Crown Lands section.

The council report said Fishheads had also taken over the Fawcett Street cafe but the owners were waiting for insurance claims and repair work to be completed following February's storms.

The issue will be debated at tonight's commercial services committee meeting.

Topics:  ballina shire council



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