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Byron Shire
January 28, 2022

Byron mayor hits back in car park stoush

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Byron Bay Beachfront Apartments. The managers of these apartments say amenity will be lost by the conversion of part of Denning Park into car parking. Photo contributed
Byron Bay Beachfront Apartments. The managers of these apartments say amenity will be lost by the conversion of part of Denning Park into car parking. Photo contributed

Chris Dobney

Byron shire mayor Simon Richardson has come out in support of a decision to bite into beach side parkland to create extra car parking spaces, despite having voted against the move in council.

Cr Richardson has taken the unusual step of issuing an open letter to Byron Bay resident and apartment block manager Jenny McIntyre, who went public over the move that will pave some existing car parking spaces and create 15 additional paved spaces.

Ms McIntyre, one of a number of local objectors to the move, told The Echo on September 2 that residents were concerned about ‘substantial breaches’ and ‘lack of consultation’ over the plan to pave part of Denning Park adjacent to Middleton Street on the Byron Bay foreshore.

The group has since commenced legal action against the council, as a result of which the mayor said he was unable to answer a list of questions they had submitted to him.

Despite having voted against the motion, the mayor has come out swinging against the residents’ claims.

He described the tone of their letter to him as ‘vitriol’, which he said might have been better directed at ‘those who actually supported [the proposal]’.

Cr Richardson said that ‘in essence, what council is doing is turning a potholed, ineffective and tired carpark, which seemed to attract those seeking an inefficient, uncared-for and tired area in which to park, into a properly constructed one that will be maintained and timed.’

‘This may perhaps allow for those seeking a dark, unmanaged area to move elsewhere, making the area more safe [sic] rather than less. Part of this upgrade is adding a small slice of the park to add another row of parking and the claim that the only reason for it is 15 more spaces and therefore more dollars is untrue,’ the mayor said.

Cr Richardson added that as the car park was on crown land,’nothing from this carpark will go into council’s coffers’, adding that all money raised be spent on crown land projects.

He said that the situation was the same as at main beach car park, where the money ‘stays in the crown reserve trust.’

‘I don’t believe these extra 15 spaces will be the answer to all your parking problems in Byron and I don’t believe anyone in their right mind would remotely believe so.

‘Rangers have not recorded or received any substantial amount of calls or complaints about anti social behaviour in this area and they patrol over most of the night. The police also have not reported to council that this area is an anti-social hotspot,’ Cr Richardson said.

In her letter to the mayor, Ms McIntyre said ‘everyone is fully booked this September and the reaction from all the guests around us has been unbelievable…the dismay, the sadness, the now lack of parkland the kids could safely play in front of our complexes, and the impending noise levels and pollution is now a concern stressed by these guests as they eat, play, relax in this once sacred remaining beachfront parkland so close to town.’

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  1. Hooray for Council. Indeed that area was a disgrace before, and to reclaim a small part of a large park to clean up the area is an excellent idea. The suggestion that there is now insufficient area for the children of guests to play is preposterous. There is a large park which spills over onto the beach. Moreover, it’s a done deal. McIntyre just needs to move on and see the bright side of it.

  2. common sense has never been something regarded as popular in the bay now has it … concrete torakina park in brunswick, concrete more or why not the whole lot of byron’s foreshore, and don’t forget the market-sides, sport-fields and the railway park … it will be so profitable as well as long as we paint pretty dolphin pictures on the ground … i am sure the tourists will still regard byron or indeed the byron shire as a special place and are delighted to spend 5 bucks for a small cup of coffee and 9 dollars for a slice of fruit-toast … please remember byron and well soon the rest of our shire is just a cash-cow for the state and sadly our local green council … and while i am at it why bother building more toilets blocks, toilets are never cleaned by our poverty stricken poor council and their poor over-worked staff anyway, now that will safe some more mulla, hooray … in my opinion it’s more hygienic to ask our visitors to dig a hole shit in the dunes … oh wait that’s right we are building more rock-walls, who needs dunes anyway, council allowed them to be mowed in suffolk park for decades … ah well at least someone will get rich for a wee bit longer until the ‘we are so special stench’ wakes people up and they can’t wait to bypass what was once a very very special home to all of us misfits … not long now people, mc donalds and the rest will find their little nest in our bay as well and cater for the ones that are to lazy and fat to walk … happy days

    • Does Council forget that the majority of people who live in Byron Bay Shire, want to live here and enjoy the amenity of the area without the constant onslaught of Tourism/. Why do we need to create and advertise our home area as a Tourist destination? Why do we continue to cater to the Tourist Industry? Why do the ego’s of these greedy people need to be constantly stroked and pandered to? Is it not too much to expect that the people who live here and do not depend on the ‘Tourist Industry’ may very well be in the majority and would like to live here peacefully without constantly being attacked as retrogressive?
      And on another note, why do we keep voting for people who want to create this lifestyle?

  3. Well !
    Byron bay is lost, it is destined to be an extension of McDonalds. This occurred forty years ago and is no surprise. The tourists don’t care ( they still frequent Dreamworld etc )…..and do you know what? It just doesn’t matter.

  4. Good on you Council. The unofficial “parking area” was disgusting and dangerous. It’s about time to make it a proper parking area, and using a small amount of the park is a good idea as it is pretty much unused by the public. In Australia, property is the main religion and capitalising public property into private property values is a strong element of that religion. There is so much room for children to play – but they don’t in that spot! The park goes right to the beach, and there’s a public playground a few steps along – etc etc. Ms McIntyre has no case at all. She is not speaking for the public but for private interests – hers.

  5. A few points that need reply to the points as stated by the manager of the apartments:
    Kids safety – in Cairns they install fences between kids play areas and roads or carparks , but no fence that faces the ocean or residences. This acts to stop kids running straight out onto the road but gives them an open ranging into the safe areas.
    Impending Noise Levels- excuse me but the gravel carpark surface that existed was much noisier than what will be a hot mix bitumen surface.
    Pollution to Guests- and excuse me again but did you watch the swirls of dust arising from the existing gravel carpark area during periods of dry weather. Also did you watch the dirty water laden with suspended particles from the gravel carpark flowing down Middleton St and into the stormwater drains? And the cars are only 5 metres closer.
    Increase in Size- I have been personally involved with this gravel carpark section of Middleton St for the last 20 years with the Byron Bay Triathlon and I can state that it has only encroached an extra 5 metres into the Dening Park. If you line up the old Koppers Log post on the south end of the park it gives you the alignment of the old gravel carpark.
    Thank goodness the carpark has been improved as all the national and international competitors in the Byron Bay Triathlon got to see before was a potholed,rutted and dusty gravel carpark that detracted the beauty of our lovely town.
    What I would be complaining about is the poisoning of trees along the dunal and park areas by unknown persons to improve their view of the ocean. This detracts more from the amenity than making a horrible gravel carpark into a lovely carpark like has been done at Clarks Beach ,Captain Cook Lookout , Tallow Beach , The Pass and Broken Head.
    These carpark got changed from gravel dust bowls with no vegetation to bitumen carparks with screens of vegetation.

  6. Yes, let Byron Council build another carpark on Crown Land. The Mayor is being deceptive in saying that the Council is building over the existing gravel parking area, and not mentioning the atrocious encroachment onto Crown Land. Those who support this will be the first to jump up and down when BSC approves something which encroaches on THEIR amenity. Once the cancer has started it will spread. Butler St Reserve is also on Crown Land and the BSC are wanting to put 260 parking spaces on it!! Greed rules and the amenity of an area is slowly (or quickly) lost. Byron is no different- it used to be.


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