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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

E-zone issue of Byron council’s making

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While I do not necessarily and wholeheartedly support the West Byron development it is with a sense of irony that I read of some people’s concern, eg councillor Cate Coorey, regarding NSW Planning Department’s attitude towards environmental zoning in Byron’s LEP.

It was Council’s original proposal for E2 and E3 zones on farms that led to the planning department’s present attitude towards the zones originally a part of Byron’s LEP. The original unprofessional and cavalier determination of E zones on farms by Council did not foster confidence in the validity of the E zones in the LEP. The creation of E zones on farms in this instance also amounted to a Byron Council land grab of farming land without consultation with, or compensation to the landholder! All for spurious reasons.

If there is no confidence in the validity of Byron Councils E zones it is of their own making! It is a bit rich when a councillor can claim “no confidence” in a planning department decision that was made without community consultation, when the original E zones in the LEP were created by Council without consulting the communities most affected. In addition, it is not correct to claim that the present planning department decision will set a precedent. Future E zone determinations will be made under a more professional and rigorous process than the one that existed in the past. Thanks to guidelines now imposed on Council by the State Planning Department. It will be more difficult to disregard an E zone determined by this process. Compensation to a private landholder  is another matter! In the case of the west Byron developer I would suggest re zoning of the rest of the land for residential sale is more than ample compensation!


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