The Byron Residents’ Group say they are concerned of a failure of governance over the proposed West Byron development owing to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services’ (RMS) failure to adequately review the developers’ claims.
According to the group, the RMS has not critically reviewed the traffic assumptions made by the developers, simply stating that it ‘is satisfied there are mechanisms in place to provide the road infrastructure necessary to support the proposed land release’.
Cate Coorey of the Byron Residents’ Group said, ‘It is impossible to say that there are “mechanisms in place” to provide the road infrastructure necessary to support this rezoning. Firstly, the proposed bypass has not even been assessed yet.
‘Secondly, and most significantly, the developers have grossly understated the traffic the West Byron development would generate.
‘The Roads and Maritime Services have been negligent in not recognising these discrepancies and ensuring an accurate traffic assessment is undertaken. Byron Shire Council’s own 2009 traffic study Scoping Report – MR545 Strategic Study assessed that the development of West Byron would result in a 12.6 per cent growth in traffic rather than the eight per cent now claimed by the developers.
‘Similarly a 2011 report by CRG Traffic and Transport Engineering Consultants applied the methodology specified in the Roads and Maritime Services’ guide to traffic-generating developments to identify that West Byron would generate 14,160 vehicles per day on the external road network rather than the developer’s estimate of 6,000 vehicles per day. Such discrepencies must be explained.’
‘The evidence is that the developers have grossly underestimated the traffic impacts of West Byron. This is without accounting for the fact that the department of planning and infrastructure’s proposed zoning of West Byron allows for up to 1,100 houses rather than the 856 assumed in the developer’s traffic studies. This Easter again proves that the amount of traffic the development of West Byron is likely to generate is a key issue for Byron Bay and essential information is still required to be able to determine if the proposed road upgrades would cope with it.
‘Byron Residents’ Group believes the community has the right to know just what kind of traffic numbers are to be expected from the West Byron development.’
An RMS spokesperson told The Echo their department ‘assessed traffic modelling provided for the development and is satisfied with methodology used by the consultant.’