11.7 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Byron Council targets holiday letting

Latest News

Quarry comes up against the farmers of Bentley

You would need to be a pretty tough customer to come up against the Bentley farmers, yet, that is exactly what Rob and Sarah McKenzie, the operators of the Bentley Quarry, what they say is a local, family-operated business, are doing.

Other News

Marvell Hall’s ‘Dangerously Poetic’ fundraiser

This Sunday Marvell Hall will host a tribute to some of the street-named fellows with poetry, music and portraits as a fundraiser for the hall.

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As...

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Flickerfest tour returns to the Northern Rivers

Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Flickerfest is bringing its National Tour to The Regent Cinema Murwillumbah for one big film packed this weekend

Development of the Belongil Spit

Jo Faith, Newtown I was gobsmacked when I read that the ‘Greens’ mayor’s parting gift was to aid privatisation of land...

[author]Simeon Michaels[/author]

Byron Shire councillors voted 7–1 last Thursday to ease off on policing unauthorised dwellings in the hinterland and concentrate instead on unapproved holiday letting in town. Council has re-ordered its compliance priorities program to this effect, and only dwellings that threaten safety are likely to attract compliance attention.

Cr Tom Tabart, who put up the notice of motion to accomplish the change in Council’s priorities, told Echonetdaily he was happy with the outcome. He said he was also happy with mayor Jan Barham’s move to have Council write to the state government to seek low-interest loans for landlords so they could rectify compliance problems for their tenants in affordable housing.

Council is expecting a staff report to its December 15 meeting on some 50 properties engaged in holiday letting, legal or otherwise.

One already in council’s sites is Byron Luxury Beach Houses located at 59 Shirley Street, Byron Bay.

The complex of six free-standing units within a fenced estate was recently completed following the demolition of three original cottages. It abuts the strip of serviced apartments that flank the entrance to Byron Bay. However, 59 Shirley Street was, and remains, zoned residential.

The complex’s website www.byronluxurybeachhouses.com.au describes it as a ‘boutique resort’ complete with a concierge service for babysitting and gifts upon arrival. Prices range from $2,800 to $9,000 a week, with a three-night minimum.

Residents objected to the developments on the grounds that it would become a tourist facility. Approval was granted, but Council inserted a consent condition prohibiting its use as short-term accommodation.

Order to desist

According to Ralph James, council’s manager of compliance, ‘This specific condition gives us a much stronger legal basis to prevent holiday letting than the general provisions of the LEP. It’s clear from their website that the site is operating as a tourist facility. An order to desist has been drafted. We expect to issue it next week.’

59 Shirley Street is owned by FMQ Pty Ltd, a company with four directors and four shareholders in equal parts.

The directors, all domiciled in Victoria, are Scott Emery, Andrew Walkley, Andrew Didier and John Fowler.

Attempts to contact the directors were made through Byron Luxury Apartments’ booking agency, but no response was received.

FMQ may defend the order in court, but if found to have acted illegally, sanctions include fines of up to $1 million.

The validity of Council’s new holiday letting condition, and the court’s willingness to levy fines that are effective deterrents, are yet to be given the acid test. With the enormous revenues generated by the complex, a test case may be brewing.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.

Independent councillor fact-checks housing supply in the Byron Shire

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey won approval from fellow councillors last week for a new reporting regime she says will offer clarification on dwellings approved in the shire.