25.9 C
Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Ballina to allow dual occupancy on rural land

Latest News

Soli becalmed in NSW Pro surf series

Local surfer Soli Bailey has finished in second place at the Mad Mex Maroubra Pro World Surf League Qualifying Series event held at Sydney’s Maroubra beach last weekend.

Other News

Rail trail

Peter Finch, East Lismore At last someone else has put their hand up to question the fluffery and misinformation surrounding...

Will the Lennox Park pavilion survive?

Ballina Shire Council will today debate the future of the Lennox Park pavilion/dressing shed, which is slated for removal as part of the Lennox Village Vision concept plan.

Coal scuttle

Alan Veacock, Cumbalum After some serious arm-twisting from the rest of the sane world, led by Joe Biden, the ‘marketing...

Hospital staff want to park for free while they work

It seems that Lismore Base isn’t the only hospital whose workers would like to park their cars for free while they work.

Suffolk pump track

Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park Thanks to The Echo for ongoing coverage of the debate about the proposed pump track...

Praying for Vanuatu in Ballina

The World Day of Prayer is a gigantic ecumenical event staged on the first Friday of March.

Ballina councillors have voted to allow secondary, unattached dwellings on rural properties, despite a staff recommendation against it. File photo
Ballina councillors have voted to allow secondary, unattached dwellings on rural properties, despite a staff recommendation against it. File photo

Chris Dobney

Ballina Council has voted unanimously to move ahead with plans to allow detached secondary dwellings on rural properties despite a staff recommendation not to proceed.

The move brings the council into line with Lismore and Byron, which have both allowed detached secondary dwellings for several years, arguing they allow ‘aging in place’ of older farmers, expanded family accommodation and potential rural rental income.

Ballina planning staff preparing the report to council offered four options: the first being to commence drawing up a planning proposal; the second, to ‘take no further action’; the third, to introduce a secondary dwelling category but remove the existing category for rural workers’ dwellings; and the fourth, to investigate further.

At its March meeting, staff recommended the council take no further action, but councillors demurred, and in its June report staff took the unusual step of ‘recommending’ the first option while indicating to councillors that they still ‘preferred’ not to proceed.

‘In conclusion the recommendation is as per option one, as outlined. However the council staff preference remains option two, as was recommended in the March 2017 meeting report,’ the staff report stated.

‘Option two has been the long standing position of this council and from a whole of community perspective it is considered that council has managed rural land use conflicts relatively well, with generally speaking, limited conflicts in use,’ it read.

But councillors were not to be deterred, with a motion by Cr Cadwallader and seconded by Cr Smith unanimously agreeing to endorse ‘the preparation of a planning proposal which proposes to permit dual occupancy development (attached and detached) with development consent within the RU1 Primary Production and RU2 Rural Landscape zones under the provisions of Ballina LEP 2012.’

Coming to terms with reality

Cr Cadwallader told Echonetdaily that while staff were reticent on the issue, the move was simply an attempt to come to terms with what was already happening.

‘We did have a councillor briefing and we thrashed out the pros and cons,’ she said.

‘Personally I get a lot of complaints about unauthorised dual occupancies. They’re old dairy bales and things like that with people living in them.

‘In fact, if you look at the report I think there have been something like 88 complaints since 2012 that have been investigated – and then another whole heap that haven’t been investigated. I mean the staff just can’t keep up with it, to be honest.

‘I’ve had numerous complaints just recently,’ she said.

Cr Cadwallader said her view was that the council ‘may as well legitimise this; it’s happening anyway.’

‘Is it an affordable housing option? Yes, I think it is. Potentially it frees up enforcement resources by giving them a pathway – and then you can charge section 94 contributions.

‘If you can rent houses out as well, that provides a maybe struggling farmer with an additional income.’

Cr Cadwallader said the existing 2007 DCP allowed for most of what was proposed, except that the dwelling had to be attached, usually by a veranda or a covered walkway.

There would be no change in the requirement that the two dwellings had to be accessible via the same road access, she said.

Councillors also moved that the planning proposal be forwarded to the Department of Planning and Environment for Gateway determination and subsequently put on public exhibition.

They further requested staff prepare ‘associated draft amendments to Ballina Shire Development Control Plan 2012 – Chapter 7 Rural Living and Activity to align the DCP with the planning proposal.’


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. I think the idea of a dual occupancy extra house on rural properties is a good idea with one VERY strong proviso; that the house MUST stay in the ownership of the farmer. The extra dwelling cannot be sold as a separate holding.
    The reason for this is that there have been many abuses of dual occupancy in rural areas with the extra house hived off and sold to someone who has no understanding or tolerance of rural practices and whose endless complaints lead to the farmer (or his neighboring farmer) having to stop his normal operations because of – noise, smell, etc, etc. At the very least having to fight a long and often expensive legal battle.
    So duel occupancy, yes; Separate title, absolutely not ever!

    • I totally agree Richard,

      It’s also important that any secondary dwelling is a reasonable distance away from any property boundary so that the conflicts you mention don’t eventuate.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shores United win local derby in season opener

Shores United FC began their season in the Anzac Cup B football competition with a 3-1 win over local rivals the Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley FC last Sunday.

Ballina Dragon Boaters win world championships

Shelley Cornish from Tintenbar has won two gold medals in the world indoor rowing championships as well as a world record time, while husband Paul Hurley chimed in with a silver medal.

Senior players triumph at Cherry Street Croquet Club

The experience combination of Joan Campbell (92 years young) and Elaine Astley (89) were able to beat the field and collect a win in the Cherry Streety Twilight Golf Croquet Plate Competition held at Ballina.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 3 March, 2021