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Byron Shire
March 20, 2023

Plan for 84 more houses at Brunswick Heads on display

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An aerial view of the site. Image Planners North
An aerial view of the site. Image Planners North, showing the site in Bayside and the ‘unhealthy building land’ to the north: the sports fields which were once a landfill site.

Luis Feliu

The popular tourist town of Brunswick Heads is set to get bigger, with a plan to develop land just south of the village for more than 80 house lots.

Last week a development application (DA) to subdivide land at 35 Bayside Drive into 34 lots and a second-stage concept plan to add 50 lots was placed on public exhibition, with submissions closing next Wednesday (27 January).

The 6.64 hectare block of land in the urban enclave of Bayside about 2.5 kilometres south of the town is owned by longtime Brunswick Valley locals John and Gloria Mills. Their existing home on the block is proposed to be retained and become part of the subdivision, known as ‘Mills Estate’.

A wholesale nursery still operates on the land which is bounded on the east by Simpsons Creek.

Project consultant Stephen Connelly told Byron Shire Council planners in his DA that his clients were also hoping the state government would rezone currently environmentally-protected land on the eastern part of the site for more housing there at a future stage.

The bayside residential encklave is 2.5kms south of the Brunswick Heads township. Image Planners North
The bayside residential enclave is 2.5 kilometres south of the Brunswick Heads township. Image Planners North

The Mills family, according to Mr Connelly, has been in the shire since the early 1960s and established the nearby ‘Village Green’ fruit and vegetable shop, which still operates under different owners, and the family also previously owned other parcels of land around Bayside.

In his report on environmental impacts, Mr Connelly said the land had no major impediments for rezoning, such as soil contamination due to the operations of the nursery, or historic use of the land just to the north of the subdivision site (the existing Brunswick Heads playing fields), a former landfill site which he described as ‘unhealthy building land’.

‘Limited information is  available regarding the  volume, content and period of use of the  landfill that comprises the “unhealthy building land”,’ Mr Connelly said.

‘Anecdotal information provided by the Mills family suggests that the  area was used for deposition of waste only,  rather than night soil,’ he said.

The first-stage subdivision is for 34 lots.
The first-stage subdivision is for 34 lots.

‘No information has been made available (from Council or other sources) as to whether the waste comprised putrescible or non-putrescible waste.’

He said the ‘only potentially active pathway to receptors from the “unhealthy building land” is the soil gas pathway’.

Mr Connelly said the gases, mostly methane and carbon dioxide, ‘pose a threat to  receptors via explosion or asphyxiation’ but that ‘initial screening using a landfill gas meter did not indicate the occurrence of methane or carbon dioxide at levels that warranted further investigation’.

The Mills family home in Bayside Drive is proposed to be part of the new estate.
The Mills family home in Bayside Drive is proposed to be part of the new estate.

bruns5He said the proposed development was unlikely to impact on local wildlife in and around the site as no habitat was planned to be removed, and proposed mitigation measures would ‘lead to long term improvements in site biodiversity’.

‘These include bushland restoration along the drainage areas and along the Simpsons Creek frontage, plantings of scribbly gum in the east of the site and substantial landscaping using locally-sourced native species.’

Mr Connelly said a mammal survey recorded no koala scats and scratches.

‘Koala visitation site, should it occur, would be transitory due to the small number of koala food trees present,’ he said.

Koala food trees, he said, would be largely retained and scribbly gums also planted.


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  1. “Project consultant Stephen Connelly told Byron Shire Council planners in his DA that his clients were also hoping the state government would rezone currently environmentally-protected land on the eastern part of the site for more housing there at a future stage.”
    I smell greed creeping in here. Leave the environmentally protected land alone. You have enough!
    Give them an inch they want a mile.

  2. Studies from the last Bayside development showed a rising watertable. The whole area was recently a swap. A swamp it will be again, in the not too distant future. Perfect for more brick venerial build on top of sinking concrete slabs.

  3. Have you seen the land (to the east) they hope to profiteer from in the future?
    There are the largest most amazing scribbly gums and stunning native bush you can imagine. Go and have a picnic there you’ll see what I mean, gorgeous place to unwind and relax by the creek which will be lost to all if “developed”. The creeks are already negatively impacted by the current uses & development. (If you don’t believe me go and look at the state of the drains – over nutrification causing weed species to flourish while native areas degrade) so I agree with previous comment! Take what you NEED and keep out the GREED! Leave the creek, riverside area & beautiful big trees for us and the animals (who also have NEEDS) to enjoy.


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