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Byron Shire
July 5, 2022

Campground operator fined

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Byron Bay resident Allan Arthur Yarrington has copped a substantial fine after pleading guilty to operating an unapproved camping ground in Ewingsdale Road together with a secondary charge of polluting land during the Splendour weekend.

The operator was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay council costs of $26,000 and court costs of $166 in the Byron Bay Local Court yesterday.

Byron Shire Council (BSC) conducted aerial surveillance of the property over concerns that the property might be used as an unapproved camping ground during Splendour.

Representing the council in court, BSC’s governance manager Ralph James said in mid July 2012 staff contacted the defendant with a request to inspect the property, which was denied.

‘Following observations of the property and a subsequent refusal by the defendant to allow access to the property, a search warrant was executed on Sunday 29 July 2012.

‘Upon entering, staff estimated that between 150 and 200 people where camping on the property at the time of the search,’ he said.

Mr James said that staff had noticed a large number of vehicles, including campervans, parked on the property and recorded 114 separate vehicle registration numbers. At least 60 tents, annexes and tepees were also noted.

He said it was a significant win for Council and sent a strong message that unapproved development that had potential impacts for environmental harm and human safety was not acceptable.

Mr James said there were no defined parking areas or a separation of vehicles from camp sites, so there was a risk of sleeping campers being injured by vehicles driven by people unfamiliar with the property.

He said the lack of facilities, coupled with the indiscriminate use of natural vegetation corridors on the property as dumping sites for waste and refuse, meant that the property was ‘unsafe, unhealthy and well below minimum accepted public health and safety standards’.

He added that ‘requirements for even basic fire protection, safe drinking water, kitchen and sullage water disposal services, safe access pathways, minimum lighting between dusk and dawn, and sanitary napkin disposal facilities were not provided’.

He confirmed that under Byron Shire’s current LEP, a caravan park is prohibited development at that location.

‘The land has a number of environmental and land-use planning attributes particularly on the eastern boundary where the property features wetlands, high-conservation-value vegetation, key fish habitat and wildlife corridors,’ Mr James said.

The unapproved Byron Bay camping ground was not related to, nor operated by, Splendour in the Grass.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Poor guy, all he had was some friends stay over for the weekend, its just that he has a large family. The grounds were good and safe… especially compared to the disgusting camp grounds next door that are council approved… Just one more example of Byron Council doing all it can to stomp on the rights of the people and use its employees as a source of revenue

    • Yeh poor guy, he’s all right. i heard how bad the splendour campsite was, sounds like his place was a haven in comparison. oh well, bad luck mate, good on you for giving it a red hot go

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