15.4 C
Byron Shire
May 31, 2024

Court to rule on extra-subdivision bid

Latest News

Local MP pushes for social housing at hospital site 

What negotiations are happening behind closed doors with the former Mullum hospital site? 

Other News

SHIFT staying put in Byron

Established in 2019, Linen SHIFT is a social enterprise commercial laundry of the SHIFT Project – a learning environment where women can acquire work readiness skills by practising them on the job. 

Kinship Festival – Unity Celebration

In Murwillumbah 6,000 people celebrated the annual Kinship Festival on Saturday, 25 May with the theme of Yabulgu – Together as one, Unity for our children’s future.

‘Mono’ wins Hawaiian adaptive surfing title

Byron Bay surfer Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart won his division at the Hawaiin Adaptive Surfing Championships two weeks ago.

New community meeting room in Lismore

A new community meeting room, free for non-profit organisations and community groups to hire, has been launched at the Lismore Library.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The Cancer Raffle

‘This is Radiology, we are following up on one of your tests. Please contact our office.’ That’s not the message you want after you’ve had a mammogram. I’m 56, my best friend just went through a year-long ordeal with breast cancer and now is in the clear. I have had many friends get mastectomies. Other beautiful women I know and have loved, have died. Breast cancer is something one in seven women or people with breasts will be diagnosed with. It’s a raffle we all have tickets in but none of us want to win. But one in seven will.

Police to evict in Lismore this morning?

Police are expected to arrive around 8:30am this morning to evict people living at a house in Pine Street Lismore at the behest of the NSW Reconstruction Authority, or charge occupants who refuse to leave with trespass.

Luis Feliu

Residents of a rural hamlet at Coopers Shoot are pinning their hopes on a NSW Land and Environment Court decision to stop a controversial bid to further subdivide a remnant lot from an old 13-lot subdivision into three smaller blocks which they say will have shirewide implications.

The decision expected soon could have a bearing on hundreds of similar small rural allotments in the shire already subdivided, which could be cut up for resale again.

The case has also sparked fears among council planners that it could set a precedent by turning 25-year-old planning rules on their head and changing the density of pre-approved subdivisions.

And in an unprecedented move, the developer is relying on the yet-to-be adopted and contentious draft Byron Local Environment Plan (LEP), which the state government is reviewing, to gain approval.

The decision on the appeal by Sydney developer Robin Wise against Byron Shire Council was reserved last Monday week by Commissioner Sue Morris after a site inspection.

The residents are backing Byron Shire Council’s original decision against the plan to subdivide a remnant 7.6-hectare lot in Prior Drive into three smaller lots of around 2.5 hectares each, which it rejected in August because it did not comply under current lot-density rules.

The developer appealed and the new council at their first meeting in late September opted to try to resolve the dispute by not defending the appeal, instead offering consent conditions to the subdivision, which were agreed to. The court was still required to assess the case and hear residents’ submissions.

Only Crs Duncan Dey and Basil Cameron opposed the move put up by Cr Diane Woods, which was seconded by mayor Simon Richardson.

Council’s decision enraged residents of Baileys Road adjoining the subdivision, who say if given the green light it will destroy the character and amenity of the peaceful rural area.

Cr Dey told Echonetdaily that if approved, the precedent also was ‘enormous for re-subdivision of other such remnants’.

He said such holdings in sites zoned 1(c1) Small Holdings were ‘usually the runts of the litter, with defects such as slope and poor soils that make them unsuitable for dwellings’.

Floodgates

Resident Maurice Spatt says the case, if successful, could be a ‘hornets nest for council and open the floodgates’ to inappropriate subdivisions of small rural lots.

‘It’s mind boggling, the subdivision rules which the original 13 lots came under have been in place for almost 25 years yet this bid tries to retrospectively change all that. It means every subdivision in the shire for the past 25 years will be similarly affected,’ he said.

‘Not all areas can be subdivided into 2.5-hectare lots. It was a 13-lot subdivision when people bought in and around there; now if approved it will go from 13 to 15 lots.

‘You’ll have people in the rest of the shire saying “we’ve got 2.5 hectares, let’s cut it up and sell it off”.

‘I can understand that density is an issue that has to be decided, but you just can’t retrospectively change the density of pre-approved subdivisions, that’s the stupidity of all this.’

He says council and courts have in the past upheld the stand ‘that you can’t change that density’.

Mr Spatt says the remnant lot in Prior Drive at the head of Byron Creek is steep and was originally not meant to be ‘cut up again’, as council planners had deemed the site unsuitable for further subdivision.

Cr Dey said the property was part of the 13-lot subdivision approved in the 1990s, ‘and such remnants cannot be further subdivided under the current LEP 1988, but may be able to be under a new LEP, which is still in draft form and a long way off final adoption’.

He said Mr Wise addressed council on the issue recently, and ‘despite him being the one who took Council to court, pointed out to councillors that we could save money by not defending against his court case’.

Weight

In his report to council in September, council’s chief planner Ray Darney said the land and environment court ‘standing in Council’s shoes’ would, as in the past, have to take into consideration ‘and give significant weight’ to the Byron Rural Settlement Strategy, which has ruled out the site as unsuitable for further subdivision.

Mr Darney said, ‘In effect what the applicant seeks to do by this application is obtain a variation to the current LEP limitations on maximum lot yield now, via the development application process, rather than wait for the outcome of the public consultation processes required prior to adoption of a new LEP’.

‘This is not considered appropriate for a variety of reasons including that it is not a strategic approach to land use planning, it undermines the public consultation processes and could create an onerous ‘spike’ in development applications (because owners of all the other residual lots in 1(c1) and 1(c2) zoned land may also want to secure approvals by variation to the current LEP development standards based on the current draft LEP terms, in case the final LEP terms are different).’

Echonetdaily was unable to contact Mr Wise for comment late yesterday.

Previous articleNo sign of ‘schoolies slumlord’
Next articleLetters

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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SHIFT staying put in Byron

Established in 2019, Linen SHIFT is a social enterprise commercial laundry of the SHIFT Project – a learning environment where women can acquire work readiness skills by practising them on the job. 

Why jobseekers were abandoned

Many were left puzzled by the recent federal budget by Labor Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, with its projected surplus of $9.3 billion. 

Kingscliff locals concerned over proposal to remove trees at Merve Edwards Fields for AFL

The potential of removing trees from the Merve Edwards Fields site at Kingscliff to accommodate the Kingscliff Junior AFL Club has raised concerns of locals and neighbours who say that this is not a proposal they support. 

Ballina Council to look into making tiny homes accessible 

The idea of living in a tiny home can seem like a simple solution to our housing crisis – but getting council approvals for a permanent tiny home on private land can be challenging.