It’s been a long time between drinks but the Bellata pub might be about to have a new lease of life.
Narrabri Shire Council recently approved a development application for a hotel on the site of the former Nandewar Inn, which burned down in 2006.
The plan is the brainchild of developer Tamvest, headed by Greg Lamont, the last chief executive of the old Narrabri Municipal Council in 1981.
“The main thing is for a place like Bellata having the local pub again right on the main drag will really help Bellata grow and give locals jobs and a sense of place in the community,” Mr Lamont said.
He also praised the council’s planning and engineering departments for their work in approving the development.
“The planning department is often seen as the enemy of the developer and they’re not,” he said.
“They’ve got rules to follow and it’s not fair at times the way they’re portrayed.”
Narrabri Shire Mayor Cathy Redding said the proposal was “an exciting development”.
“It also just shows any development can happen, even in the smaller places,” she said.
“Council is quite willing to work with investors.
“Our planners are very experienced and anyone is welcome to come and have a chat with them. They’re more than willing to assist anyone.
“We’ve quite often had the comment lately that Narrabri Shire is very good to work with as far as investors or anyone wanting to do anything is concerned.”
Narrabri Chamber of Commerce president Russell Stewart, who hails from Bellata and remembered the old hotel fondly, said the development was great news for the community.
“I think it’s fantastic that someone’s picked this up and is going to run with it,” he said.