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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Residents still not convinced by West Byron plans

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Stuart Murray, representing the landowners of West Byron, says that the Byron Residents’ Group has ‘made up’ the figures for housing at West Byron and that our claim of 1,100 houses is wrong (Letters, Echonetdaily, September 25).

He should look at his own website westbyronproject.com.au. On the front page there is a link to the Frequently Asked Questions prepared by the Department of Planning, which, under the heading ‘What are the benefits of the proposal?’ clearly states ‘Supply of between 800 and 1,100 dwellings close to established areas of Byron Bay where there is little new housing stock. A range of lot sizes including small residential lots (minimum 150sqm)’.

We put it to the planning minister Pru Goward that we have yet to meet a developer who didn’t try to maximise their yield of lots, and she strongly agreed. If West Byron were approved to allow 1,100 lots we would expect this to be the minimum, not the maximum number of dwellings on the site.

We have not been mentioning density in our information as Mr Murray claims but merely the housing numbers. But, since he is raising it, 150sqm is pretty tight. As for ‘little new housing stock’, the Far North Coast Regional Submarket Analysis 2013 showed that Byron Bay is approving and building houses at a rate far outstripping our actual population growth.

With regard to West Byron the science is in – there is core koala habitat on the site that would be drastically impacted on by the proposal; there is a major acid sulfate soil problem that has not been addressed; and the traffic study that Mr Murray and the landowners commissioned for their proposal did not follow RTA guidelines for such studies. These facts are irrefutable.

I would like Mr Murray to provide one real example of where our information has been wrong. The West Byron Landowners have not written to us on ‘several’ occasions at all. Stuart Murray has written to us once with similar non-specific spin to his Echo letter – spin that does not address the fundamental issues that beset this ridiculous rezoning proposal.

Mr Murray is employing the cheap tactic of casting doubt on the BRG’s information because, as the community comes to realise the monstrosity that he and the landowners are trying to force on this town, he well knows that the people of Byron’s response is not community consent, only outrage.

Cate Coorey President, Byron Residents’ Group


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