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Byron Shire
May 18, 2024

Yelgun festival site gets 5-year go-ahead

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Splendour in the Grass will be held at its North Byron Parklands site for the first time next year, as part of a five-year temporary approval granted yesterday by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).

The PAC claims in its report that the temporary approval, together with additional conditions it has imposed, amounts to a ‘precautionary approach’.

Audience numbers have been capped at 25,000 in the first year and up to 35,000 by the fifth year – 15,000 lower than the applicants’ requested size of 50,000.

Two other events will be allowed on the site each year of the trial, effectively blowing Byron Shire Council’s plan for two major music festivals per year out of the water.

As with Splendour, the minor events will scale up in numbers each year. The first year will see 10,000 and 15,000 people respectively, increasing to 15,000 and 25,000 in the final year of the trial.

A maximum of 10 event days will be permitted each year during the trial, with a day allowed either side of the event for campers to arrive and depart. No event must exceed four event days.

The PAC allowed for up to 25,000 campers onsite on the basis that it would reduce traffic around the festival site and other unnamed ‘potential offsite impacts’.

Mat Morris, general manager of North Byron Parklands, said ‘it has been a long journey; we are pleased to finally gain approval’.

‘The approval means the permanent return of Splendour in the Grass to the Byron Shire. The festival will be held at Belongil Fields this year and at North Byron Parklands from 2013.’

Mr Morris added, ‘63 per cent of the site is out of bounds, set aside for nature either as protected existing vegetation or new habitat areas’.

Byron Shire Council, which had hoped to reap some benefit from the site via section 94 developer contributions, had its argument flatly rejected by the PAC.

‘Section 94 contributions are not typically applied to temporary uses. The Commission also notes that section 94 contributions were not levied by the Council for prior approval on the application site or for Bluesfest at Tyagarah,’ the report reads.

‘For the above reasons, the Commission considers it is inappropriate to impose section 94 contributions for a time-limited trial. The matter can be reconsidered should the proponent lodge future development applications following the trial,’ it concludes.

The PAC says it took into consideration residents’ objections about noise and has created additional conditions to deal with these.

The modified noise controls are as follows:

  • Between 11am and midnight, noise level measured at sensitive receivers must not exceed background plus 10dBA;
  • All stages must be shut down at midnight;
  • Bar, café and dance floors may remain open until 2am, but between midnight and 2am, noise level measured outside the bedroom window(s) at sensitive receivers must not exceed background plus 5dBA;
  • All amplified music must cease at 2am.

Additionally, a noise survey must be carried out before each trial event is held to confirm the relevant background level and the information must be made available to the property owners and reported in the monitoring report.

The noise control levels are to be reviewed after the first year of trial to assess their suitability and performance.

The PAC says the levels may be increased if the affected landowners agree to a higher level, or decreased based on recommendations of the Regulatory Working Group.

The PAC was satisfied with the director-general’s recommended approval of management plans for bushfire, flooding and emergency evacuation and for a post-event review process.

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  1. Once again we see outside interrests and the satte Governemnt collude to deny the rihts of residents in the Byron Shire. Once again we see the lamighty dollar reign over the manity and desires of thsoe people who came to this aprt fot he shire to escape the ongoing onsluaght of byron bay be the morons who people this antion. Once again we see the state governemnt set limits which are untenable and unwanted. There should be no limts there should simply be no north byron site full stop. I encourage Byron people from Ocean Shores to band togetehr and take this sleazy governemnt o the high court and have this mostrosity and travesty on their lifestyles rejected by a higher authority. This is just the thin edge of the wedge when it comes to degrading this shires beauty and amenity forever just so a bunch of greedy money hungry fools and their drugged out, alchohol damaged idiot mates can lay waste to the shire further. Not content with turning the place into a 24 hour booze fuelled idiotscape now we ahve another load of crap to contend with as dimwits come to the shire to act out their idiot fantasies.

  2. Common sense rules and the wowsers have been put back in thier boxes! How wonderful to live in a region that now can officially offer us a cultural smorgasboard. Locals will have the opportunity to enjoy world class entertainment in dedicated entertainment precincts, and yet be saved the awful traffic congestion that any bilongil fields based events cause. It’s a WIN WIN situation for people who look at life as something to relsih and enjoy. How lucky we are to have such amazing festivals as Bluesfest, The Writer’s Festival and Splendour in the Grass. I’m thriled the usual negative, moaning protestors who are ust anti anything that challneges their set mind-set, have been seen for the selfish myopic types they indeed are. I suggest they get out of their boring, self-centered existences and actually go to one of these festivals and see how much fun they are. This is WONDERFUL news!!!!

  3. Thank you,
    You have have indeed helped the many,
    your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

    A Sacred place of gathering has again been maintained.

    Better to ban the alcohol, drugs, and unruly behavior,
    than to ban the Event.

    Blessings to you

  4. please locals, take this criminal permit to high court,this is insane,how did they get it through?how did they get 5 years trial?

  5. This is a misguided decision. The Yelgun Area has NO infrastructure to support an extra 5 000 people let alone 25, 000 people lobbing into the area. There will be little benefit to local businesses in the area it will create complete chaos with the traffic congestion on and off the freeway. The whole area will be subject to degradation and pollution. I am not against Splendour being in the Byron Shire but this area is clearly not the right place for it. The council and the powers taht be need to make more responsible decisions.

  6. “so a bunch of greedy money hungry fools and their drugged out, alchohol damaged idiot mates can lay waste to the shire further. Not content with turning the place into a 24 hour booze fuelled idiotscape now we ahve another load of crap to contend with as dimwits come to the shire to act out their idiot fantasies.”

    Well thought out, and beautifuly expressed, Treeman, you’ve really got your hand on it.
    Maybe you should stick to writing Tony Abbots election slogans.


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