21.2 C
Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Council denies ignoring alternative Byron bypass proposal

Latest News

Goonellabah drive-thru COVID testing this weekend at GSAC

With the community in lockdown, Lismore City Council says it is important for to get tested for COVID-19, even if you only have the mildest of symptoms. 

Other News

COVID choices

The virus isn’t going anywhere – it’s here to stay. There are three real solutions. 1. Let the virus run...

PCR test

The recent Echo article ‘How reliable are PCR tests?’ (8 September) on PCR tests for COVID-19 that refutes the...

Comedic paranoia

Despite Peter Olsen’s limitless comedic ability, perhaps it’s time for The Echo to curtail his paranoid multi conspiracy theories...

Lockdown cells

Michael Lyon, I understand you took the initiative to collaborate with neighbouring mayors in the Northern Rivers to address...

Bangalow’s modern baker

S Haslam Being a baker in a modern town like Bangalow these days involves a lot more than getting up...

Face masks

I was just wondering if anyone has the answer to this question: If face masks have the ability to contain...

The bypass option, proposed by Butler Street residents, which has been ruled out by Byron Shire Council. Source: Byron Shire Council
The bypass option proposed by Butler Street residents, which was ruled out by Byron Shire Council. Source: Byron Shire Council

Byron Shire Council says it did not ignore an alternative proposal to reroute the Byron Bay bypass through the railway corridor adjoining its approved site but rather it ‘would not contemplate committing ratepayer or taxpayer funds to such a significant project on land that it does not own.’

The council has been served with a Land and Environment Court application to overturn the Byron Bay town centre bypass Development Application (DA) approval recently issued by the independent Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).

Instigated by the Butler Street Community Network Incorporated, a group of Butler Street residents, the court action seeks to stop the construction of the town centre bypass along Butler Street, which is currently a no-through road.

Council’s legal services coordinator, Ralph James, said the Butler Street Community Network’s intention was to have the bypass constructed on the parallel rail corridor and it was therefore challenging the development approval.

He said the Butler Street route was identified within the 1988 Byron Local Environmental Plan as the location of the town centre bypass.

‘As part of the recent development application, a Preferred Route Report was completed along with an Environmental Impact Statement and OEH approved Biobanking Statement.

‘As is normal for council planning practices, various bypass routes have been considered over the years. The Butler Street alignment comprises existing road network, road reserve and council-owned land so council will be the owner and custodian of this land in perpetuity.

‘The rail corridor is not council-owned land and the council would not contemplate committing ratepayer or taxpayer funds to such a significant project on land that it does not own,’ Mr James said.

Council’s general manager Ken Gainger said the town centre bypass was a vital piece of road infrastructure needed to ease current traffic congestion and is widely supported by our community.

‘As the numbers of visitors who come into Byron continues to grow, our road network will become even more chaotic if we do not start to create and build solutions.

‘Our community has told us through the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan that progressively making the town centre more pedestrian friendly is a priority and we need to keep the cars on the periphery.

‘Alleviating some of the traffic pressure and opening up the rail corridor as a green space with pedestrian access from the Butler Street Reserve are key components to achieving this community supported goal.

‘While we appreciate that some Butler Street residents do not want the road to be upgraded, their primary concerns will be alleviated by the implementation of the independent JRPP planning conditions.

‘Butler Street is the designated route which is now supported by the independent planning umpire (JRPP), is supported with substantial state government funding and has the Roads and Maritime Service on-board as the appointed construction authority,’ Mr Gainger said.

Council has based its project planning around a construction commencement in February 2017.

The matter is currently listed for a directions hearing on August 29.

Council has said it will ‘pursue the expeditious hearing of the appeal in accordance with the Court’s practice.’

Mr Gainger said that the council has been ‘anticipating the lodgement of an appeal by the Butler Street Community Network and has taken this into account with project timing.

‘We are well prepared to defend these proceedings,’ he said.


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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I object to the current bypass plan as:
    The railroad corridor as a bypass can be easily extended to Lilli Pilli! Living in Bangalow Road, we are finding the amount of traffic dangerous and untenable. Ever tried crossing the road? Cannot the unused railroad be used to divert the traffic? Is there an alternative route? No!

  2. Why does Council continually ignore & refuse to acknowledge that the most significant study on the Byron Bay Bypass was undertaken in 2001 which resolved the best, most cost effective bypass was within the rail corridor all signed off and approved in principle by State Rail? Here again in this press release they cover up the facts. Where is the actual cost studies for their current foray, the Biobanking alone will cost millions. What a load of crap Council would not consider committing to a lower spend on the rail corridor when already they are seeking to take control of the corridor as a green zone and tourist attraction.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Reece Byrnes re-elected as Tweed Deputy Mayor

With many many local councils are juggling the elections timetable owing to COVID-19 restrictions, and last night the Tweed Shire elected their Deputy Mayor.

COVID update includes trial of home quarantine

When media were told that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian would be at today's 11am update, we expected big news – the Premier said last week she would only attend the updates if it were important news.

How is RT-PCR used to diagnose COVID-19?

It’s fast, reliable and full of lines – but might look different to the PCR you learned about in school.

Queensland passes voluntary assisted dying laws

Dying with Dignity NSW has welcomed the passage of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws in Queensland and is hoping that NSW Parliament resumes next month so that this issue can be addressed in NSW without further delay.