Illegal holiday letting back in Byron council’s sights

Legal action against illegal holiday let (including Airbnb) properties could again be pursued after Byron councillors voted unanimously at their March 23 meeting to lift the moratorium should the state government not respond with its own policy by July 1, 2017.

A holiday-letting policy is expected from the NSW planning department by April.

Additionally, the amendment by mayor Simon Richardson asks staff to produce a discussion paper/report   for the May meeting ‘on the available enforcement options against unauthorised tourist and visitor accommodation.’

The mayor’s amendment also asks Council to ‘proceed with an amended planning proposal that reinstates exempt development provisions.’

VOHL (Victims Of Holiday Letting), a group of residents who say they are affected by letting, say they are ‘greatly encouraged by the fresh approach and willingness shown by our councillors.’

VOHL’s Doug Luke said they are ‘hopeful that Council can produce a policy to regulate this activity, which is a major blight on our residential neighbourhoods.’

Byron Bay is unusual: report

‘We are not so optimistic about state government.

‘The parliamentary report on the impacts of holiday letting even stated: “The claim of impacts on community viability was particularly strong in evidence received from Byron Bay.

“However we believe Byron Bay is an unusual case and not representative of most communities. It is not always effective policy to design a regulatory system to meet the demands of an unrepresentative case.

‘The needs of Byron Bay will also be served by better data collection and hopefully the other recommendations we make will also assist that community”.’

Mr Luke said, ‘The Dept of Planning & Environment (DPE) is also constraining Council in developing a successful policy.’

‘Many of the protections of residents that Council and VOHL worked to include in the policy have been rejected by the DPE.

‘VOHL wishes to publicly thank Byron Shire Councillors for their resolution at Thursday’s Council meeting.’

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