Broken Head quarry and its zoning anomaly

Byron Shire’s new Local Environmental Plan (LEP) took force on 21 July 2014 and sets Broken Head quarry’s land as zone RU1 ‘primary production’.

The areas surrounding the quarry are set as ‘Deferred Matters’, presumably having been proposed as E-zones. The LEP2014 does not permit subdivision within RU1 for residential purposes, as sought by the current DA.

However, the DA was lodged before July and will thus be assessed under the shire’s former LEP1988. Under that LEP, the quarry area was zoned 1E ‘extractive resources’. That zone has no prescribed minimum area for subdivision.

The original quarry commenced in the 1940s, prior to current planning laws. Like all NSW quarries, BH Quarry was ordered in the 1990s to ‘reapply’ to continue its activity.

That DA was lodged in 1997. After a Commission of Inquiry in 1998, the DA was approved by the state. Consent conditions included requirements for wall slopes no steeper than 1-in-3 and for rehabilitation at the end of the life of the quarry.

When the quarry owners/operators discussed their current subdivision proposal with Council staff recently, they were advised that the 1E zoning in the LEP would have to be amended before an application for residential subdivision of the site could be considered.

The applicants chose to overlook the zoning anomaly and to lodge the DA as was recently on exhibition.

Staff have advised that the DA will be determined by the elected Council (not by staff). That will presumably happen some time later this year.

Duncan Dey, Byron Shire councillor/Main Arm

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