20.4 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Broken Head quarry-site housing plan sparks backlash

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also...

Hanging points

Jo Faith, Newtown Many thanks to The Echo for printing ex-magistrate David Heilpern’s remarkable article articulating the ongoing tragic situation surrounding...

Cartoon of the week – 21 April, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

An insult, Poppa

From what I can understand, Poppa Veet Mayo’s letter seems to imply that this latest COVID scare is a...

Federal Government grants for infrastructure improvements – Tweed

Tweed Shire Council today announced more than $3.75 million in Federal Government grants for 10 infrastructure projects in the area.

The Broken head quarry site on  both sides of Broken Head Road, Suffolk Park. Image Byron Shire Council
The Broken head quarry site on both sides of Broken Head Road, Suffolk Park. Image: Byron Shire Council

Luis Feliu

A push to develop the old Broken Head Road quarry site at Suffolk Park into an estate for 41 houses, to be debated by Byron shire councillors tomorrow, has sparked a backlash from a residents group which claims it should never have been considered in the first place.

They say the site has not been rehabilitated, as per the quarry’s court approval for its operation 15 years ago, and are puzzled as to why the controversial plan has surfaced.

Council planners have recommended refusal, saying the subdivision, proposed for the 52-hectare site on both sides of Broken Head Road, was not suitable for residential development nor in the public interest.

Planners say issues such as the character of surrounding development, Aboriginal cultural issues, the importance of the site as a wildlife corridor, soil contamination and access had to be further explored.

Byron Residents’ Group (BRG) say the plan ‘contravenes all Byron’s planning policies and strategies and should never have progressed this far’.

BRG president Cate Coorey told Echonetdaily the site was far too sensitive to turn into housing.

’This area is adjacent to one of the most significant sites to the Arakwal people with its close proximity to Taylors Lake, which is well known as a Bundjalung women’s sacred lake,’ Ms Coorey said.

‘Since the 1998 heads of agreement between Byron Council and the Arakwal community, council has long had a commitment to protect the ti-tree lake (Taylors Lake),’ she said.

‘This commitment must be upheld. Why is this site even being considered for development? It is not in any strategic document for development such as the Far North Coast Regional Strategy, the Byron Rural Settlement Strategy or the Byron Suffolk Settlement Strategy.

‘This DA is an ambit claim that should never have been accepted for exhibition by council in the first place.’

Ms Coorey said the zoning for the site (extractive resources) did not allow residential subdivision and the site had a long and controversial history.

‘The court approval that authorised the quarry’s operation in 1999 also required that the site be progressively rehabilitated, yet this requirement to rehabilitate has not been fulfilled,’ she said.

‘The site forms part of a wildlife corridor and should be rehabilitated. At least 13 endangered fauna species and 13 flora species of regional, state or national significance were identified before the 1999 approval of the quarry development.

‘The requirement to rehabilitate the site to ensure regeneration of the ecological values of the area must be a priority.’

Ms Coorey said ‘common sense’ suggested council rejects the proposal ‘out of hand’.

‘There is no need to approve any more housing developments in Byron Bay. With the West Byron rezoning we have dwelling numbers that far exceed growth needs,’ she said.

‘Developers should not be of the belief that they can just pick a block of land in Byron Bay and do what they want with it, although it would be easy to get that impression in Byron lately.’

Former Byron shire mayor Jan Barham, now a state MLC, gives background on the quarry site here.

The proposed layout of the subdivision. Image: Byron Shire Council
The proposed layout of the subdivision. Image: Byron Shire Council


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.