Woolgoolga’s Men’s Shed has been forced to cease operations.
Woolgoolga’s Men’s Shed has been forced to cease operations. Trevor Veale

Woopi shed forced to close

MEMBERS of the Woolgoolga Shed have been told to down tools by Coffs Harbour City Council.

The group received a letter from council last week telling them to cease operations at the current site that has been its home for three years.

According to president Michael Hope, the committee was told it would not be allowed to continue its industrial operation in a rural zone.

After protesting its use was not 'industrial', shed members were allowed to continue to use the building as a recreational facility pending a Development Application (DA).

As part of the DA process, a consultant inspected the structure and decreed the owner needed to make thousands of dollars worth of improvements including a firewall, disability toilet, disability parking, disability access ramps and exit signs.

The owner reported to council that he would be unable to meet the additional costs and so the Woolgoolga Shed was told to cease operations in its current facility.

Mr Hope is incensed the shed has been operating for the past three years with the council's knowledge and was now told it would not be allowed to operate at that venue any longer.

He said the shed provided a service for up to 50 members including three different disability groups as well as providing an outlet for retired men and some women.

"Without the shed, the men will have nothing to do for the week, they will stay at home, not doing much, just watching the TV," Mr Hope said. "It keeps them from being lonely and depressed.

"You ask anyone in the community what they think about the shed and they are full of praise."

Shed representatives have sent letters asking for help from the community and council including locally based Councillor John Arkan.

"A good outcome would be to find a permanent home for the shed," Cr Arkan said.

"If it doesn't fit there, let's get out there as a community and let's find where it does fit.

"We will strive to get the best outcome for everybody."



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