Former Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham has 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 West Byron Development Control Plan (DCP) is currently on public exhibition and 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 added the approval of the development ‘highlighted the fact that community knowledge and experience of this site was ignored by state government’.
‘Now we see that lack of respect for local knowledge and understanding of the site constraints has led to the application to further degrade the site and the values of the land due to the failure to consider the infrastructure needs and constraints of the site at the time of the approval,’ Ms Barham said.
‘This site is already zoned and recognised for the environmental values. What we’re seeing now is the erosion of those values for a purpose that should’ve been considered at the time of the approval.
‘To lose again because of the incompetence of the approval is just galling.
‘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,’ Ms Barham said.
She added that this may ‘and probably’ should reduce the scale of the development ‘but that’s what the developers and government were warned about’.
‘For decades, when council considered the land for development and determined it to be unsuitable, one of the overriding considerations was the lack of room for infrastructure and the impacts.
‘That is why it was never resolved by council to allow for intensive urban development.’