9 C
Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Group calls for action against holiday letting

Latest News

Top tips for feline friends this International Cat Day

Some silly humans think that it's money that makes the world go around – we all know it's cats!

Other News

Public meeting in Woodburn to talk about flood recovery August 7

What do our communities need as we continue the long road to recovery following the devastating floods of February and March?

Couple lose everything to house fire

A house on Mill Road, Huonbrook, went up in flames last Friday and thankfully no-one was injured. Police, the fire brigade and emergency services attended.


Last week’s Backlash asked why the disused rail corridor couldn’t be utilised to prevent another ‘shemozzle’ at Splendour, suggesting...

More infestations of Varroa found in Newcastle area

What many people don’t know is that without bees, the large variety of plant food on their plate will...

Mullum residents bulldozed over pod homes

Mullumbimby residents are growing increasingly angry and are still waiting for answers over the construction of temporary pod accommodation works on Prince Street, next to the disused railway on flood-prone land. 

Response times remain strong: Ambulance Service

The NSW Ambulance Service has responded to criticisms of its operations in the Northern Rivers, stating that paramedics continue to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies.

Hans Lovejoy

Members from a group that say they have been affected by Byron’s holiday letting industry are calling on Byron Shire Council to crack down on holiday letting in residential zones.

It comes after a meeting between Victims Of Holiday Letting (VOHL), community representatives and Council last Tuesday.

While thanking Council, including staff, for the opportunity to present their concerns, spokesperson Doug Luke told Echonetdaily that he hopes to see a more proactive compliance approach by Council toward holiday letting in residential zones.

‘We are rapidly losing our demographic diversity and our vibrant alternative culture,’ said Mr Luke.

‘VOHL welcomes holiday letting in areas appropriately zoned for tourism and close to the beach. VOHL’s position is that holiday letting is illegal and has serious detrimental impacts on individual residents and the shire as a community and a society.’

Mr Luke claims self-regulation by the HLO (Holiday Letting Organisation) and its code of conduct are ‘absolutely useless’.

‘The only protection achieved is for the financial interests of the industry. Council and therefore its councillors have a duty of care for citizens and residents. VOHL is simply asking Council to uphold the law and as soon as possible put up a motion in Council to reinstate compliance action against the Suffolk Park property where the case is ready to go to court.’

He says the group ‘now has concerns about holiday letting multiplying in the north of our Shire, as evidenced by the impacts felt recently from the Splendour In The Grass festival attended by 25,000 people.’

‘While compliance action continues,’ he says, ‘VOHL believes that a development control plan (DCP) should be worked on and inserted into the local environment plan (LEP). Can the state government help us here? VOHL would like the ball to stop bouncing between Council and state.’

Mayor responds

And while Mayor Simon Richardson agrees that ‘Council has an obligation to act on a compliance issue when it has been notified of a breach’, he told The Echo he does ‘not want Council to spend years in court, taking on one compliance matter after another’.

He says that under the current local environment plan (LEP), holiday letting in a residential zone is a prohibited use.

‘I am trying to find a compromise that can provide a clear understanding in the community as to where holiday letting can occur and where it cannot.

‘Within the area that holiday letting may be considered acceptable, we need to develop stringent management strategies to make sure the noise, rubbish, fire safety and parking issues are addressed properly.

‘Within the DCP [development control plan] and new LEP we need to embed clear and fair regulation.

‘In this way, we can protect residents who have decided to live in an area with a thriving community instead of a constant stream of short-term visitors, while ensuring the holiday letting industry can provide accommodation to our visitors so pressure for highrises can be dampened.’

Echonetdaily contacted Holiday Letting Organisation’s (HLO) John Gudgeon but he declined to comment.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Appeal to locate woman missing from Ballina

NSW Police have sent out a media alert – they are appealing for public assistance to locate a woman missing from Ballina and have issued a SMS get-target alert.

Base nurse finalist in NSW Health Excellence awards

A Lismore Base Hospital staff member has been recognised for excellence in nursing and midwifery. Emily Green is among 30 finalists nominated for the 10th annual NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

Be alert – koalas are on the move

Yes it's that time of year and Friends of the Koala are urging members of the public to contain dogs at night and keep a lookout for koalas on their properties and when driving, particularly during dusk to dawn.

OS Community Garden launches food stall

Members of the Shara Community Gardens gathered on July 31 to launch their new food exchange stall on Shara Boulevard in Ocean Shores/South Golden...