People wishing to comment on the planned West Byron housing development have just hours to get their submissions to the planning department.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson has encouraged as many residents as possible to have their say to the state government, which is the planning authority in this case.
The mayor has been critical of the state government for withdrawing planning powers for such developments from council.
‘The current state government promised to support powers being put back into local governments and local communities, yet we are seeing the biggest housing development in our shire for a generation decided by planning department bureaucrats in Sydney, under the excuse of it being a state significant development,’ he told Echonetdaily.
Despite the size of it in a local context, Cr Richardson argues that doesn’t make it state significant.
‘Considering this 800-1,000 lot development is dwarfed by 4,000-plus-lot developments in the Tweed and 2,000-plus-lot developments to our south, it is not even regionally significant, let alone state significant,’ he said.
‘It is however, extremely locally significant and, thus, should be decided by those representing the local community.
‘There may well be a case for a couple of hundred lots, designed with best practice sustainability and land management practices on the site.
‘However, the community is expected to have faith that the department of planning will have these considerations in mind.
‘I guess the rezoning decisions by the state government will make it clear how much they value our community,’ Cr Richardson said.
Plans for the West Byron Project are can be viewed here and public submissions can be made on the same page.