Future of Foster's Garage gets town talking
THE most talked about address in Bellingen CBD is the site still known as Foster's Garage in Hyde Street.
Since the passing of the late Carl Foster in 2014, speculation has circled far and wide of what would become of the landmark business and possibly the oldest motor dealership in the region.
Long before the garage became the first home of the town's radio station 2BBB, it was a meeting point for the Lions Club, many community organisations and a place where Mr Foster dispensed the extraordinary generosity he showed to so many in his 84 years.
In 2015 upon his death a meeting was held to explore the potential of buying the site as a community asset and among the ideas was a car pooling hub, bicycle shop and charging station for electric cars.
Most ideas remain in limbo apart from the charging station one, now listed among several on the development application (DA) for the two lots lodged with Bellingen Shire Council.
Applicant GeoLINK has proposed retail premises, shop top housing, a car park, solar energy system, the charging station and the usual demolition, remediation and associated works featuring on most developments of long standing business premises.
Council advertised the DA and the document has been on public display since April 4 with a closing date of April 24 for submissions.
Currently, a coffee shop occupies the premises but the rest of the site remains littered with motoring debris and of course, the unused petrol tanks and that's where the underground car park may prove handy in a main street starved of space on busy days.
All up the renovation is expected to cost almost $9 million.
After submissions close, Council will prepare a report for further consultation.