Thanks to recent writers to Echonetdaily for setting out the issues that we councillors should have considered last month when we prolonged the agony on the five-unit brick-and-sheeting bunker proposed opposite Woolies in Station Street, Mullumbimby. Council was advised on page 97 of our business papers that staff had written to the applicant in April about the loss of neighbours’ privacy. The applicant replied that they would change nothing in the application.
Maybe councillors didn’t read this in our business papers? Anyway, Council resolved (me against, I was for refusal) that staff should approach the applicant again to resolve the bulk, scale and privacy issues.
Councillors are bending over backwards to see ‘both sides of the story’. What they are missing is that the developer does not have their home life ruined if we get it wrong – only the neighbourhood suffers that threat. For the developer, a refusal just means going back to the drawing board and trying again.
One of the advantages of a refusal in a case like this is that the developer’s contract with their designer (a Brisbane firm in this case) may end and a decent design may appear for a subsequent DA. How about a design that satisfies our Development Control Plan (DCP) and shows some sensitivity to the neighbourhood in which it is to be plonked?
Byron Shire councillor