A plan to try to regulate Byron shire’s booming but unauthorised holiday letting industry is now out for public comment.
Up to 900 properties in the shire are understood to be currently holiday let, and the longstanding issue, according to mayor Simon Richardson, has caused many sleepless nights for some residents.
Community input is being sought for the Draft Short Term Holiday Accommodation (Holiday Letting) Strategy, worked on by planners over the past 12 months to address the issue.
Cr Richardson said the new plan recognised ‘that unregulated holiday letting can result in a loss of neighbourhood amenity through noise, traffic and undesirable behaviour’.
‘This is a long-standing issue in our community and has caused many a sleepless night for some residents,’ he said.
‘However, holiday letting makes up a significant proportion of our bed stock that underpins our strong visitor economy.
‘This strategy aims to continue the conversation with the wider community and see if it meets their expectations on council’s role in assisting with the regulation on holiday letting whilst supporting the visitor economy.
‘Have we got the balance right?’ he asked.
Stakeholders groups Victims of Holiday Letting and the Holiday Letting Organisation were involved in the consultation process.
A council spokesperson said the strategy proposes three types of approval processes:
* Exempt development for people who intermittently holiday let their property during Australian school holidays for a total of less than 90 days a year;
* Complying development for houses up to three bedrooms that are rented for less than 90 days at a time; and
* Development assessment which allows holiday letting for houses with four or more bedrooms that are rented for less than 90 days at a time.
Under the new regulations, all holiday properties would need to register with council and when let, signage placed at the front of the property advising contact details for complaints and that the property is registered with council.
If a property has more than two substantiated complaints within a year, it would not be allowed to continue holiday letting.
Council’s executive manager of planning and environment Ray Darney also noted that minor amendments to the Byron LEP 2014 and the Byron DCP 2014 would also be made in relation to tourist and visitor accommodation.
Public exhibition will begin 11 November and close on 8 December 2014.
The council spokesperson said that during this time, staff will be on hand to discuss the draft strategy and an additional workshop with holiday-let operators and the Victims of Holiday Letting will be held to outline how the planning controls will work and how it may apply.