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West Byron development approved

Map showing the 108-hectare proposed Map supplied by West Byron Project shows the planned size of the site compared to the Arts & Industry estate to its north. Source westbyronproject.com.au

Map showing the 108-hectare proposed Map supplied by West Byron Project shows the planned size of the site compared to the Arts & Industry estate to its north. Source westbyronproject.com.au

Chris Dobney

The controversial development at West Byron, which has drawn condemnation of local residents and split Byron Shire Council has been approved by the NSW Government.

The department of planning and environment today announced approval, which it says will ‘ease housing affordability issues in the region’.

‘People living in the new homes will live within walking or cycling distance of the town centre,’ a department spokesperson said in a media release.

In announcing the approval the department boasted it would provide, ‘more work for local tradies’ and ‘greater choice in terms of types and styles of housing available in the region’.

The Byron Residents Group, which fought hard against the development, cited high-use koala habitat, acid sulphate soils and traffic congestion on already overloaded Ewingsdale Road as major arguments against it.

But the department says it has addressed all of these issues in what it describes as ‘detailed consultation with the community and Byron Shire Council’.

In particular the spokesperson noted ‘the NSW Government’s recent announcement of $10.5 million toward a road bypass of Byron Bay town centre,’ which it said would ‘make a significant dent in local traffic congestion’.

Byron Shire Council will remain the consent authority for all DAs on the rezoned land.

‘The department is now working with Council to finalise the West Byron Development Control Plan,’ the spokesperson said.

He added that ‘through the rezoning approval, we’re making the developer pay almost $8 million to the community for local road upgrades.’

Asked for a comment on the announcement, Byron Residents Group spokesperson Cate Coorey said she could offer ‘none that were printable’ but added the group would be making an announcement later today.

 


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40 responses to “West Byron development approved”

  1. Lucy Ashley says:

    Disgusting decision. Just totally wrong.

  2. jeny shiels says:

    As if this will be affordable housing. Investors will buy and sue them for holiday lets just like the rest of Byron Like the comment thst people living there will be able to walk or cycle to town It will probably be the quckest way to get to work .Shocking desiciion more traffic on our goat track into town SHAME

  3. Jonny says:

    Thanks a lot, Rose. A sad day for Byron. Please resign.

    • alan says:

      seems like most of the dissent is coming from folk lucky enough to have settled in Byron from Sydney and Melbourne who now selfishly want to keep Byron for themselves and their inherited wealth. They like to see 5th generation Byron born-and-bred folk being priced out of town.Shame on you.Well done Rose for putting the welfare of working class families ahead of the cashed up idle baby boomers of Byron.

      • J Wilkinson says:

        Alan,
        Civil engineering 101. It will cost a lot to develop this flood prone land into the suburban world you desire. Coupled with the desired profits of the developers, this land will not be affordable for the working Joe. In addition, your sweeping generalisations of the people who live here is as misguided as your fondness for Rose.

      • Tracey Anderssen says:

        We left the cities because of over development and pollution, we are here to protect the natural beauty of your home, our home. Please don’t think this development will help your grandchildren, it will destroy what you have enjoyed all your life.

      • Geoff Southward says:

        Alan, if you really think this will make housing affordable you’re naive.This development won’t do a thing to make housing more affordable. We just had 62 ‘affordable’ units (starting at $450K) go in next door at Suffolk Park and prices around us have risen since then, of course, as they will. Wake up! The only welfare Rose is furthering is her own commercial interests as a real estate agent – unless she distances herself from any future sales from this development. Rose??? Yeah I didn’t think so…….

  4. DK says:

    SH*THOUSE… another major decision AGAINST the wishes of the community.
    Oh hang on – that pissy little bandaid you’re calling a bypass should solve everything.

  5. Max Igan says:

    Government corruption and disdain for the people is alive and well in Australia in 2014….

    bye bye byron bay, you are now the newest suburb of the gold coast… all magic gone… everything that made you one of the most attractive destinations on earth removed… you are now a commercial revenue collection center for the criminal politicians and their corrupt corporate controlled political system… just like everywhere else

  6. Rachel says:

    Yes the comment about walking or cycling to town is a joke surely…I mean how many people walk or cycle now from the industrial site to town? ! … Devoted cyclists and really poor people walk or cycle….the rest of us drive our cars even if it’s only a short distance away we are travelling…

  7. Ben - Ewingsdale says:

    Terrible decision! The Ewingsdale Road into town will not be alleviated by the 10.5million dollar town by-pass.

  8. Mee Uuen says:

    Is it just me or can anyone else looking at the greyed, soon to be developed, area visualise the shape of a foot positioned as if it belongs to someone sitting astride a toilet pan with a paper bag over their head?

  9. BOYD KELLNER says:

    This announcement seals the fate of Byron Bay.

    The business community can only see $$$$$, as Byron is transformed into their sanitised, contrived image of middle class groovyness.

    Conservative politics ruled [ ruined] the day.

    Byron Bay is now well and truly in the real world, forget the utopian, airy fairy hype nonsense.

  10. Nancy Jo says:

    With this approval truly comes the death of the tourist golden goose. Byron is now definitely just like anywhere else.
    Just still wondering where these new residents will be working after tradies are finished!
    Glad l live in Myocum now.
    Bye bye Byron we once knew! Hello traffic hell because proposed bypass is a joke!

  11. Lorissa says:

    A disgrace. I feel sick.

  12. Robyn says:

    If it were an easy walking or cycling distance to town, why do Sunrise residents require cars? I do cycle to town on a day that’s not too hot nor too wet, or when I am staying out after dark spending money in the town, or buying groceries, or taking children to school. It is a good few kms and the Crystal Highway bike path taxes the bike tyres. About the detailed consultation with the community… does anyone know anyone who was consulted? I must be part of the wrong demographic. I heard the local community speaking loudly and clearly against it for a number of reasons. I saw people protesting, signing petitions, writing letters. I saw councillors voting against it. To whom did the state government listen?

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the slimiest councillor of them all?

  13. ‘ease housing affordability issues’ – who are these people kidding, they think we are idiots…..bring on the ICAC investigation now.

  14. jack miller says:

    Awsome. Need to increase the gene pool in this town

  15. Pam Rose says:

    Surely we haven’t seen the last on this issue. Cr. Woods expressed sympathy for the landowners , who gambled on this land, which is disgusting, but she is perhaps unable to appreciate this. The sympathy needs to go to the poor people who take out mortgages and buy into this flood prone development. There is nothing to
    stop the sea from coming up Belongil creek and flooding much of this land, when the oceans rise.
    But of course, the current government, including the state government is not concerned about climate change.

  16. Jade says:

    Sad to see the negative comments about cycling “really poor people walk or cycle….the rest of us drive our cars even if it’s only a short distance away we are travelling…” and the endless reasons why it’s all too hard to get on a bike and do your but for the environment and your health “not too hot nor too wet, or when I am staying out after dark spending money in the town, or buying groceries, or taking children to school” and apparently riding on the bike track “taxes the bike tyres”??? Save money, get on your bike and do your bit for the environment!! Also stop using fuel driving your kids to school, bus travel is better for the environment.

  17. Angela McDermott says:

    Completely and utterly bonkers. I have that heart-sinking feeling.

  18. Jack miller says:

    Great decision. Need to increase the gene pool in byron.

  19. Beatrice Virgil says:

    ICAC – ICAC – ICAC – ICAC – ICAC – ICAC – ICAC

    lets make it happen, peoples

    Lets start with hmmm whats a random name….I know a good party trick! close my eyes, spin around, try and pin the tail on the donkey…

    Voila!

    Rose!

  20. Lisa says:

    DEATH OF THE BELONGIL ! Where are they Environment ministers now ? How can this development be approved when it has been referred to ICAC for investigation?. How can the Government Affordability panel also sit on the Board of Developers? The land is floodable, The road to Byron is clogged. There is no parking. The houses will not be affordable. Currently the Median house prices in byron bay are $850,000 and median price for units is $573.000. take a look at http://westbyron.org

  21. Kevin says:

    If this development really does go ahead, then I will never do any business in Byron town, I will never eat there again, I will never encourage friends to visit Byron again – and this unfortunately will include the Industrial Estate as this ridiculous “bypass” will fail miserably

  22. Juan Cavero says:

    A very sad day indeed. How can they be so blind?

  23. Andrew says:

    If West Byron was done in a way that was really environmentally friendly and combined real affordable housing for those that are part of the fabric of the area, such as those that grew up here, or working on low paying jobs, those on the fringe of society that are here now and want to have the opportunity to put down roots – great – bring it on!

    However this is delusion thinking – a bit like that of a delusional real estate agent / councillor who should not be involved with making huge decisions for the rest of time. As if this will be affordable housing, as if there will be a koala sanctuary, as if there will be a solar power plant that makes this a green development.

    Can you honestly imagine a fair and equitable housing process for the disenfranchised? Smaller developers and investors are going to be snapping up these blocks and those that can least afford them are going to be left out.

    Residents from Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, South Golden Beach, New Brighton, Ewingsdale, Myocum, and those from other places – the visitors that come here because it wasn’t suburbia – will have to sit in a almost stationary traffic jam from the highway all the way into Byron Bay – because of the pressures of West Byron and increases of visitors.

    No bypass or extra lane into town is going to make a difference, Byron is constrained by geography. We’ve got several greedy property developers both local and from out of the area celebrating now. Celebrating a massive windfall, millions and millions of dollars! They don’t care about the town and what makes it special – they are happy to destroy it. Those that have made this wrong decision – you should hang your head in shame when you are sitting in the traffic, looking at what was once natural bush or farmland and now is a sea of unaffordable roofs.

    We have a NSW Planning Minister that either doesn’t understand the constraints of the town or the people that cherish the place. We have had several corrupt politicians involved with property developers, ICAC has shown. We have had a impotent member for Ballina not concerned about his electorate, we have some pro development councillors sealing the fate for what will be remembered as a once great and beautiful town – that people come to visit because it was different and wasn’t suburbia.

    Some vision is required by those that make decisions – a revolt or a revolution is required!

  24. ashlee thompson says:

    so where will all these new people work ? THE COMMUNITY SAID NO SO WHY IS THIS HAPPENING ?

  25. DJ Faith says:

    “Thatcher’s Byron” has arrived. Rose, this development will help your commercial interests and accumulation of wealth but what legacy is passed on to future generations? Bricks and cement! Truly sick with disgust.

  26. Taylor G says:

    What a joke! Such sell-outs! What’s next beachside high rises? Very very bad move Byron council.

  27. Diana says:

    Terry Agnew of Tower Holdings are now looking for overseas investors to help him build Great Keppel Island Mega-Development. Will Byron have the same fate? The housing will not be affordable according to this recent newspaper article.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/terry-agnew-snaps-up-byron-houseland-play/story-fnko7zi0-1226943470799

    From ‘The Australian’ newspaper 5 June 2014:
    “SYDNEY property developer Terry Agnew has bought a high-profile site onthe edge of Byron Bay for the first major housing development in the
    picturesque NSW north coast town in almost three decades.
    Mr Agnew has acquired nearly 80ha on Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay, for a 450 house and land subdivision as well as a 51-lot industrial subdivision in a $7.7 million deal. He is also redeveloping Great Keppel Island off the coast of Queensland with former world No 1 golfer Greg Norman into a luxury $2 billion tourist destination.
    In Byron Bay Mr Agnew, head of Sydney-based Tower Holdings, plans to sell the house and land packages on 600sq m lots for $750,000-$800,000, and those on 450sq m lots for about $595,000. Plans for a substantial rezoning of 6 Ewingsdale Road, which was bought as part of a receivership sale from Crighton Properties, are before the NSW government’s Department of Planning. Sign-off is imminent …
    … It is understood he is considering retaining half of the house and land packages as investments given suburban houses in Byron Bay rent for at least $900 a week.“

  28. Ben says:

    Oh Dear! Guess Who? Terry Agnew!
    I just stumbled across this story of an Unexplained Blaze in Watego’s in 2010

    Investigators are trying to identify the cause of the blaze, which claimed the prestige holiday homes owned by Gold Coast property marketeer Dudley Quinlivan and Sydney property developer Terry Agnew’s GKI Land Pty Ltd.

    The houses, which were both unoccupied at the time, are situated in the exclusive Byron Bay enclave of Watego Beach, which is known for its wealthy homeowners and celebrities looking for a discreet place to holiday.

    Mr Quinlivan, a two-time bankrupt, was once described as the “King Con” of Queensland’s property marketeering scandal, which saw scores of investors sell properties at inflated prices.

    He is currently banned from managing corporations, with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission describing him as “not fit to be a director”.

    Fire crews were called to the fire at Mr Quinlivan’s property, a three-bedroom house which he had purchased in 2004 for $2.45m, at 7.25pm on Sunday evening.

    By the time they arrived at 7.37pm, the house was “fully involved in the fire”.

    Fire crews were called in from neighbouring areas as the local brigades battled to contain the flames, which witnesses said leaped 20m into the air.

    Residents were evacuated from nearby homes.

    “The fire then spread to the second property and took hold there,” said NSW Fire Brigades’ Superintendent Ian Krimmer.

    That property, which belongs to Mr Agnew’s company, was purchased for $7.5 million in 2008.

    Both properties were “totally destroyed”, Superintendent Krimmer said.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/byron-bay-mansions-lost-in-unexplained-blaze/story-e6frg6nf-1225855705114

  29. Harsha Prabhu says:

    The question is: what are we going to do, peeps?
    Are we going to allow this illegal and unethical development – railroaded through by Pru Goward, a woman who has NEVER been to Byron, and her dodgy developer mates and real estate sharpies, against the wishes of our community and THOUSANDS of people across the globe who have signed their opposition to this shite – to go ahead?
    That is the question.

  30. Stephen Patterson says:

    Why has everyone beat up and over egged the negatives and ignored the positives for this project

  31. Geoff Bensley says:

    Developers use the word “affordable housing” to lower the cost of Section 94A contributions. This NSW Planning instrument Section 94E prohibits the use of Section 94A contributions in respect of
    1: The purpose of affordable house
    2: purpose of disabled access

    The development application for the property on the corner of Browning St and Bangalow Rd in Byron Bay was using this “affordable housing” issue to avoid Section 94A contributions . The DA stated that rental would be provided for a term of 5 years at below “market rates”. How this will be enforced I have no idea.
    This use of Section 94E to weasel out of developer contributions will mean less money for Byron Shire Council.
    Don’t believe that it will be jobs for local tradespeople (I have been in the building trade in this area for 30 years) building these afforadable homes, it will be the project home companies from the Gold Coast .

  32. Hansen says:

    NICE, sooooo many new AirBNB and holiday letting opportunities.

    Wake up people, this is BIG $$$… it was never not going to happen.

    Bunnings knew this all along, they’ll be killing it once the development starts.

    The questions is, what are we going to do about it? The fight is only lost if we choose to give up. Let’s do whatever it takes. Violence and explosives have now become an option!

  33. yeah boi says:

    People are complaining about a swamp.. really is that all your arguing about of course there is going to be trees for the kolas.. nobody likes swamps anyway and there’s no stopping a developer from building a housing lease Anyway within 20-50 years Gold Coast will connect to Tweed-Byron and Ballina #citylife

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