From Dan Murphy’s to KFC – February 4 is now less than a week away before submissions close for one of the most contentious proposals in recent times.
Located at the former Byron Music store at the southern end of the Byron Shopping Plaza (next to Woolies), the proposal would see a restaurant refit of the retail space and an 8.5-metre illuminated pylon sign on the street.
A tree would be removed to make room for the signage, according to the lodged DA.
The development has drawn much criticism, most notably by the shire’s mayor Simon Richardson.
He told The Echo that as it stands it’s likely to be rejected by Council for not including a toilet in the store and lack of car park availability.
No toilet in building
‘There was no mention of the toilet in the DA,’ he said, ‘despite applying to be a dine-in restaurant.
‘Also the Dan Murphy’s was a test case in terms of parking,’ he said, referring to the liquor outlet’s failed bid in the town.
He said he was ‘quite staggered’ by the response when he handed out petitions at the Byron market recently. ‘I ran out of submissions, and many tourists said they came here because there isn’t that type of fast-food chain here.’
When asked if Council was prepared to take the matter to court like the case previously with Mullum Woolies, he said that Council is still waiting on a staff report.
‘It’s the proponent who would take Council to court and it’s entirely up them,’ he says.
Conservatives have also hit back at Council’s record of defending expensive legal battles.
‘As for the “Oh we give up question,” he said, ‘I’d say that after 30 years of resisting inappropriate development, it’s still worth fighting for.’
Resident Simon Seven also took his petition to the streets and said the response against the outlet was ‘overwhelming’.
‘Everyone I talk to is horrified,’ he told The Echo, ‘including people who don’t live here.
‘They have said to me they come to Byron because there isn’t this type of corporation here.’
As of Friday, he claims 1500 signatures were collected in around five days, and expects ‘a couple of thousand’ before submissions close.
The owner of the commercial property for the proposal is Gold Coast developer Robert Badalotti, who also owns the property under the cinema where Dan Murphy’s bid failed.
Echonetdaily understands the proponents of the Byron KFC live near Tweed Heads.
Byron Bay is already home to fast food chains Domino’s Pizza, Baskin and Robbins and Subway. In the early 1990s, public protests successfully stopped McDonald’s from opening in the town.
The KFC-free Facebook page can be found at http://on.fb.me/VfglhC.