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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Mullum affordable housing plan back before council

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An artist's impression of one of the proposed 10 units for the house block in Stuart Street, Mullumbimby. Image Byron Shire Council
An artist’s impression of one of the proposed 10 units for the house block in Stuart Street, Mullumbimby. Image Byron Shire Council

A Mullumbimby affordable-housing proposal that sparked resident concerns and had councillors divided in the previous term will be again thrashed out at today’s Byron Shire Council meeting.

After being previously accepted, then refused, then accepted again and finally being refused by the council term of 2012–16, developer Koho Projects lodged an appeal of Council’s refusal to the Land and Environment Court on September 5, just before the September 10 council elections.

And while the case is listed for an initial conciliation conference on January 24, 2017, Koho have negotiated by dropping two of their original ten units on the residential block to eight and say they will supply a plan of management for the development.

Resolution sought

To get such density on an average-sized residential block, a percentage of the dwellings will be leased as ‘affordable housing’ as defined within the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.

A lengthy staff report in the upcoming agenda says a resolution between Council and the developer include plans that are ‘substantially similar to the development as depicted in the plans that form part of the appeal.’

But staff have said it is ‘unclear from the information provided whether a share-car arrangement remains proposed for the development.’

‘It is also not apparent whether the offer for the affordable housing units [is] to be maintained in perpetuity as affordable housing (not just for the required ten-year period).

As for cost, staff say the estimated legal fees for defending the appeal to be $22,000 excluding GST, assuming that the hearing in the matter only takes one day.


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1 COMMENT

  1. To answer the above question about a Ten Year cap on maintaining affordable housing the answer is NO- after ten years the property can revert to non-sponsored housing.

    According to State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009:

    Clause 17: Must be used for affordable housing for 10 years
    (1) A consent authority must not consent to development to which this Division applies unless conditions are imposed by the consent authority to the effect that:
    (a) for 10 years from the date of the issue of the occupation certificate.

    So kind old developer “Koho Projects” can collect their tax benefits now, and sell all of the units for private treaty as including rental generating income. There are apparently no guidelines to set the rents or annual rent increases.

    NOTE: They Are Not Building these Eight Units to SELL as affordable housing which, I am sure, is what they would like the project to sound like to he public.

    It makes me puke when everyone from Developers to these F%&*ing Music Venues don’t ‘like’ Council’s decision so they decide to go over Council’s head to Land & Environment court. Council says one day in court will cost $22,000 and of course, we rate-payers will foot the bill.

    JUST WHAT is their problem and sense of entitlement that if they’re not happy with Council, they can just go ‘Cry-Baby’ to another Gov’t Authority claiming they were ‘done’ by Council?

    I would think Council would have a much clearer picture of what the Shire needs, can afford, and can calculate the hidden social and administrative costs to the Shire a whole lot better than the guys at L & E Court….

    FOR ANY Appeal to Land & Environment that does not successfully overturn a Council’s decision, the plaintiff should be fined treble court fees to be awarded to the defendant. Otherwise- what’s the point of having a Council in the first place?

    WHY in one day’s issue of the Echo online, do we have, out of a small handful of articles, two of them where Private Commercial entities are not satisfied with their commercial profits so they go seek redress in a higher Court?

    The situation with “Splendour” and “Bluesfest” is even worse as their events are basically subsidised by ratepayers for additional police, crowd control, cleanup, etc. and both of them agreed to abide by Council’s stipulations as Conditions of Approval.

    Now, Splendour wants more land in eco-sensitive areas along with Council dropping their “Provisional Status” So… off to Land & Environment Court. Same crap with Bluesfest wanting more events that were NEVER part of Council’s Consent…so…off to Land & Environment Court…

    This behaviour is shameful.

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