23.2 C
Byron Shire
February 8, 2023

Ewingsdale ‘seniors’ development refused

Latest News

Iron Gates development in Evans Head land owners go into administration – again

The Iron Gates development, that is on flood- and fire-prone land near Evans Head, has been fought by the community for over 30 years. The current company that owns the site, Goldcoral Pty Ltd whose director is Graeme Ingles, has now been placed into administration.

Other News

Far North Coast branch of NSW Farmers launches

The new NSW Farmers Far North Coast Branch, that will be representing farmers from the Tweed and Byron Shires, launched yesterday.

$5 million to improve Northern Rivers rural drainage systems

Damaged rural drainage systems will be cleaned out, repaired and fitted with mechanisms that will reduce the impacts of future flooding, thanks to the Australian and NSW governments’ $5 million Northern Rivers Drainage Reset Program.

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Nicessism Disorder

I have a disorder that is incompatible with living a comfortable life in the current system. Unfortunately it’s becoming less common, but there are people living in your street who will have it. Maybe even your friends, or someone in your family. Maybe you. It’s my deep shame. It’s why I will never be rich and successful. But probably why I am so deeply happy and why I am so full of love and care for other humans.

A smorgasbord of flicks

This year’s smorgasbord of over 40 incredible short films are handpicked from a record 3,200 entries received for Flickerfest’s Academy® and BAFTA Qualifying short-film festival screened recently in Bondi, and Northern Rivers audiences are the first in Australia to experience the best of Flickerfest on tour. Highlights enjoying their Northern Rivers premiere include recent Academy® nominees and much-loved festival award winners alongside exciting, fresh, local talent.

It’s not the fossils, it’s the fools 

Humans have been muddling along in cities for around twelve thousand years, says Wikipedia, although if you count using an alphabet of some kind as the criterion of civilisation, the time span drops to a mere fifty centuries.

An aerial photograph of the planned retirement village and retail site at Ewingsdale, which was rejected last week by Byron Shire Council.
An aerial photograph of the planned retirement village and retail site at Ewingsdale, which was rejected last week by Byron Shire Council.

Chris Dobney

Byron Shire Council has refused a proposed mixed commercial, medical and residential development adjacent to the new Byron Central Hospital, which the proponents had attempted to justify by saying it was aimed at seniors.

To be approved, the proposal would have required council to rezone two significant parcels of rural land sandwiching the hospital site in an area that had never been envisaged for residential development.

The Sydney-based Belbeck consortium had recently made significant amendments to the plan, including moving the shopping and medical precinct further along Ewingsdale Road and increasing the intensity of housing.

Approval would also have required the construction of a roundabout, which council costed at $2.5 million, and which the proponents seemed reluctant to pay for.

The rejection was confirmed by the deciding vote of Cr Sol Ibrahim, who generally votes with the pro-development faction.

Local real estate agent and Greens Party defector Rose Wanchap voted with National Party aligned councillors Diane Woods, Chris Cubus and Alan Hunter to support the proposal.

As expected, Greens mayor Simon Richardson and member Duncan Day, Labor’s Paul Spooner and Our Sustainable Future’s Basil Cameron voted to defeat the proposal.

Last week, ahead of the head of the decision, the proponents appealed to state planning department to take it out of the council’s hands.

But mayor Simon Richardson doubts that will happen.

‘I think we’ve got an absolutely strong planning case for doing what we did,’ he told ABC radio this morning.

‘The proposal changed significantly, it intensified significantly. It was not under any strategic planning guideline or framework to begin with and I think we have every right to say no to it.’

Cr Richardson added the new proposal featured ‘a lot more density, a lot more accommodation for people other than seniors and aged, a retail component on Ewingsdale Road and just really clumsy planning.’

Dangerous precedent

The Byron Residents’ Group said it was ‘pleased to see that a very bad proposal has been shown up for what it was’.

‘This was never about seniors’ housing; it was about rezoning and reselling and creating a commercial precinct in Ewingsdale,’ spokesperson Cate Coorey told Echonetdaily.

‘It was brought on by people who want to change our local planning laws so they can sell off the land — a dangerous precedent to set. If the Belbecks had intended to provide seniors’ housing they would have applied under the State Environment Planning Policy (Seniors Housing). There are federal, state and local strategies for ageing; this proposal did not meet any of them.’


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.


  1. This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. Thanks you to all the councillors that voted against this proposal. You have made us happy people.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Far North Coast branch of NSW Farmers launches

The new NSW Farmers Far North Coast Branch, that will be representing farmers from the Tweed and Byron Shires, launched yesterday.

New Lismore refugee support group starting up

A local group from the Lismore area, the Lismore Region Refugee Settlement (LRRS), have come together to support refugees settling in the area. 

A tribute for Richard Moloney

Byron Shire has lost another of its colourful characters, the irrepressible Richard Moloney, who died suddenly but peacefully in his home at the end of January.

Flood rebuilds hampered by ‘like-for-like’ insurance clause

Attempts by flood-affected homeowners to retrofit their homes with flood-resilient materials are being cruelled by insurance companies and builders, a local resident says.