Investigations are now underway into building a bypass to the corner of Browning and Jonson Streets in Byron Bay where Mitre 10 is located.
Under the plans passed at last week’s Byron Council meeting, Butler Street would be extended past Glenn Villa Resort and into a swamp area, turn left, cross the disused railway and then follow through the carpark at Wicked Weasel and the old Norco building.
The decision is a departure from the previous councillors’ desired ‘mini’ bypass, which was to pass through the Railway Hotel carpark and exit out next to Legends Pizza near Woolworths.
Mayor Simon Richardson said he never thought he would recommend a bypass as he wasn’t ‘a fan of roads’.
‘The more [roads] you build the more cars you get,’ he said.
However he voted for the proposal, which will see an amendment to the Byron Developer Contributions Plan 2012 being on public exhibition for 28 days.
Additionally, funding will be sought from local state MP Don Page for ‘geotechnical land and ecological investigations’ to prepare a fully costed construction of the major bypass. Negotiations will also be sought with the developer of West Byron ‘to prepare a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) and that these negotiations incorporate the bypass and park and ride road infrastructure into the VPA.’
A budget of $50,000 will be funded ‘from existing section 94 funds held for Urban Roads as a potential contribution to the bypass’.
Deputy Mayor Woods spoke against the idea. ‘Studies say 80 per cent [of traffic] is going in the town centre. This is the opposite to the study.’
But Cr Saul Ibrahim said, ‘The centre of Byron is not what it will be in 15 to 20 years. This is for the future.’
While that motion passed (Crs Woods, Cameron and Hunter voted against), a foreshadowed motion also passed that asks staff to investigate park and ride services, rail and cycle options. A staff and councillor workshop will be held ‘prior to the options report being tabled to Council’.