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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Tweed shire planners not keen on holiday letting

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Tweed shire planners have recommended refusal of a spate of bids to change the use of homes on the Tweed Coast for holiday letting.

The issue of holiday-letting and its legality has been a thorn in the side of local governments up and down the NSW coast, especially in neighbouring Byron Shire where opposing groups of residents and landlords argue for legal certainty.

The Tweed also is trying to follow Byron Council’s lead in trying to gain some control over the holiday letting industry.

It’s estimated that up to 700 properties are being used for holiday letting in the Tweed without any approval from council.

At tomorrow night’s Tweed Shire Council meeting (to be held August 7), around 10 development applications (DAs) seeking the dual use to allow for the homes to be used for both permanent residency and short term holiday letting, will be determined.

Most are in the upmarket Salt-Casuarina precinct south of Kingscliff.

It’s understood most councillors back allowing holiday letting and councillors have previously debated the issue and expressed in-principle support for the DAs, calling for a report with recommended conditions of consent.

In one DA, permanent residency is sought for a series of holiday apartments while other DAs seek a change of use of homes for tourist accommodation, as landowners look for a better return on their properties.

Chief planner Vince Connell says in his reports that despite the recommendation, the DAs would still have to be determined by councillors, given the current legal status of overall planning laws.

Mr Connell said the change of use sought would be a prohibited use under zoning of the shire’s new Local Environment Plan (LEP).

The draft Tweed LEP 2012 was gazetted (as amended) on 4 April this year as the Tweed LEP 2014.

He said that under the draft Tweed LEP 2012, the entire site where the change of use is proposed is zoned R2 Low Density Residential where tourist and visitor accommodation ‘would not be permissible’.

‘In addition, the proposal is not considered to be consistent with the objectives of the R2 Low Density Residential zone under this plan,’ Mr Connell said.

He said that although this LEP contained a savings provision for DAs made before it commenced, the proposal must have regard to its provisions.

‘There are various legal precedents created through the NSW Land and Environment Court, which require consent authorities to give greater weight to draft environmental planning instruments which are “certain and imminent”, Mr Connell said.

‘It is considered that this weighting has greater relevance once a draft LEP has been gazetted as the draft LEP can be assessed as being certain and imminent, given that it was subsequently gazetted.’

In comments on other DAs, he said the amenity of the locality would be adversely impacted by the holiday letting use in an area with many residential dwellings.

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  1. Feel sorry for home owners in Tweed if council grants this use. The owners will cram as many beds in as possible to earn big bucks and the residential area will go to pot with parties, weddings, bucks’ weekends, hens’ weekends etc Rex. We have two huge holiday rentals near us on the GC and we simply dread the weekends in what was our lovely quiet area. The tenants don’t care because they will be gone by Monday and so what if they lose their bond, split between 20 or more people, its nothing to worry about. And the owners, well they win either way.
    Let homes be what they were built to be – homes – not businesses.

  2. There are many facilities at every level of the market, purposely built for people to enjoy holidays. Normal residential homes were never meant to be used as anything but homes, part of a neighbourhood where all owners and their families feel safe, at “home”.

    It is totally unreasonable to expect to be able to let normal homes as holiday rentals. If you wish to be in this market buy land or property in areas zoned for this.

  3. Holiday letting is a commercial activity, just like panel beating. If i purchased a house to set up a panel beating shop in the garage, the council would close me down. However a panel beating shop would give secure employment and training to employees (not seasonal cleaning jobs) and finish at 5pm. Holiday letting is illegal in residential Areas. As we all know increases house prices, puts a extra drain on sewer and rubish removal. decreases community stability. and increases noise complaints. From my observations the only people who want holiday letting in residential areas are the property owners themselves. They have a loud voice and fiercely protect their illegal business.


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