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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Control plan for ‘unwanted’ West Byron under scrutiny

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Byron locals are being urged to attend a public meeting tonight to have a say on the shape of the controversial ‘unwanted mega suburb’ of West Byron.

Byron mayor Simon Richardson and Cr Paul Spooner are expected to attend the community-information meeting at 6pm (Tuesday, 17 November), in the Byron Community Centre’s Cavanbah Room.

The meeting, organised by the Byron Residents’ Group (BRG), will look at the proposed Development Control Plan (DCP) for West Byron currently on public exhibition, with public submissions closing on 4

‘If we are to have this unwanted suburb forced upon us then we should take this opportunity to have a say on what it will look like,’ says Cate Coorey, president of BRG.

‘We want the community to be able to understand what the DCP is so they can take part in shaping it,’ Ms Coorey said, urging locals to read the draft DCP on Byron Shire Council’s website before the meeting ‘so that we can answer questions’.

The DCP, she says, is ’a large and dense document which for many people could seem daunting’.

‘We aim to walk people through it and help them understand what is in it so they can better participate in the community consultation process,’ she said.

‘While the DCP is only a guideline as to what happens on the site, community input into mitigating the impacts of this mega-suburb via the DCP is essential.

‘This is our town – we have to live with whatever happens on West Byron. I urge everyone who wants to have a say on the shaping of West Byron to come along.’

Earlier this week, former Byron shire mayor Jan Barham described as ‘absolutely galling’ an application by the developers of West Byron to locate critical infrastructure in the development’s fragile environmental zones.

The NSW Greens MLC has written to planning minister Rob Stokes over the proposed changes.

The developers have applied for key infrastructure to be located within areas currently zoned environmental as they claim there is insufficient space within the areas zoned for housing.

Ms Barham told Mr Stokes in a letter, dated November 4, that ‘these important issues must be resolved’.

‘The most responsible way to deal with the situation of infrastructure and associated earthworks is to have them identified in the DCP for location within the residential zones,’ she said.

Ms Barham told Echonetdaily, ‘It’s outrageous that at this point, after a flawed approval process, the issues of infrastructure are raised that still fail to consider the significant issues of acid sulphate soils and seek to downgrade the protection of environmental zones.’

She said ‘the best outcome now would be the withdrawal of the state government from accommodating that bad decision and an instruction by the minister to require that infrastructure be brought back within the boundaries of the resident development zone’.

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