Unfortunately the proposal for a high-density building next to the A&I Hall in Bangalow, which you rightly reported in December was ‘fought off’, is back on the books, somewhat altered in appearance but otherwise much the same as that rejected by all councillors in April 2013.
One doesn’t have to look too hard to see that the changes are largely cosmetic and the original reasons for refusal by Byron Shire Council still stand, essentially that the bulk and scale of the building ‘is likely to have a negative impact on the built environment of the locality’ and ‘is likely to detract from the character and appearance of the Bangalow Heritage Precinct’ (minutes of ordinary meeting, April 18, 2013).
The footprint of the building has not been reduced, it still covers most of three blocks and, while the developer claims to have removed the top (third) storey, in fact there are ‘attics’ protruding from the roof and the eight apartments above three shops can hardly be considered ‘shop-top housing’ as recommended in the Bangalow Settlement Strategy. The other concerns expressed by the community at last year’s public meeting are also still valid.
Residents can inspect the DA – 10.2013.570.1 – in the Council Chambers and I’d urge those who value and want to preserve Bangalow’s heritage character to sign the petition and make their views known to our councillors before January 17. I think we all realise that approval of this DA would set a very dangerous precedent.
Jenny Coman, Bangalow