A meeting of least 100 people, chaired by Tony Hart in Bangalow’s RSL Hall last Thursday night, was overwhelmingly opposed to a proposed four-storey development in Station Street.
The meeting was called following community outrage over the proposed development, which would include eight flats, three shops and 18 underground car parks.
Mr Hart told Echonetdaily the process was to inform people about the development.
‘Paul Defina, for the developer, spoke for about 10 minutes and the developers brought photomontages.
‘There were about 20 questions from the floor. About 25 per cent of the audience were in favour of the proposal and 75 per cent opposed.
‘All the blank council submission forms we had available were taken away.’
Mr Hart said he didn’t want to speak for or against the plan but added, ‘My main issue is that Station Street needs a precinct plan to avoid it becoming an ad-hoc development zone’.
Former Byron Shire councillor Jenny Coman, who has been active in opposing the development, told Echonetdaily, ‘The only people who spoke in favour seemed to be promoters or their relatives’.
‘The Head of P&C said that the developers want to use a lane that children use to get to Bangalow Primary School as access to their underground car park, potentially endangering them.
‘There were a lot of concerns expressed about car parking,’ Ms Coman told Echonetdaily.
She said some speakers opposed the 18 underground car spaces, while other said it would still leave the development seven parking spaces short.
‘One elderly resident said, “we don’t want Bangalow to become another Byron Bay”.’
Ms Coman said the plan goes against guidelines of Bangalow Settlement Strategy, which she helped to author in the 1990s.
‘It could set a precedent that will change the face of Bangalow.’
Byron Shire Council has extended the timeline for submissions on the proposal until end of month. Submissions forms are available on the council’s website.