Eat St or Grief St - funeral parlour planned for Lismore CBD
PLANS for a funeral home on Lismore's iconic Magellan St have come under fire from local retailers who say the proposal threatens the street's atmosphere and amenity.
A development application for the funeral home was lodged with Lismore City Council in May, proposing a small chapel catering for up to 30 services each year with a maximum of 50 people attending each funeral.
The proposal received 30 public submissions in support and 21 against.
The council held a workshop on the proposal last Tuesday night and will make a final decision on whether to approve the development application at its next meeting on August 11.
Binney Family Funerals director Warwick Binney said his intention was to conduct "private, intimate funerals" and having the cafes and shops of Magellan Street close at hand was a plus for both local business and funeral guests.
But a significant group of retailers from Magellan St and surrounds are against to the idea.
Owner of Caddies Coffee and Tea and former Lismore mayor Ros Irwin said arguments that the funeral home could be good for the street "flew in the face of reality".
"People attending funerals are mourning. It's the wrong mix. It's just the wrong area to put a funeral business in," Ms Irwin said.
"People don't buy things afterwards. You're grieving. People wouldn't even want to be seen out."
Sharon Poles from Little Polli and the Blackbird said the idea was at odds with the council's own vision for the street, citing uplifting cultural events such as the recent Eat the Street festival and the Thursday night markets.
"Is this really what Come to the Heart is about?" Ms Poles said.
"It's all part of life, but it's inappropriate for the area."
Peter Crethar from Premier Art and Framing said parking he'd spoken to regular customers about the funeral home and "they think it's a joke".
The 20-year veteran of the shop said Magellan St was busy enough already without regular funerals taking place. "Think of all the delivery drivers that have to come in and out every day. It's going to create chaos."
"The businesses are going to suffer."