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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Historic village precincts and large industry just don’t mix

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For some time I have been struggling with the thought that a Heritage Town, such as Bangalow is to be rezoned as an Industrial/commercial precinct. This was initially prompted by the letter of Ean Jones (Byron Shire Echo, July 19. 17) .

While there are many issues of deep concern re this proposed development; it certainly is revealing a proposed status that falls under the legislation governing ‘Designated Development’.  (This feature sent the Club Med developers to the Land and Environment Court).

As such this status demands a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS). It appears that all that has been applied for in the current DA is a series of industrial buildings and car parks, for the mega load of traffic that is to travel through the main areas of the township.  There is no certainty of what industries are to be carried out in the buildings.

We are informed that this is agricultural land; as such the developer cannot seek development consent for empty industrial buildings. Obviously more information is required to conform to the dictates required by development applications. Furthermore, the legalities governing the state government Planning Policy No. 33, governing hazardous and Offensive Development Act must be adhered.

If the DA does not supply information on the amount of traffic generated, car parking required, air quality, odours and wastes generated, then it is of greater concern for the community. Most significant is the issue of noise. A growing irritation in the city and no doubt to be the same in Bangalow. The developer must adhere to the legalities addressed in the ‘Noise Impact Assessment Act (2016)’.

The current status of Byron Shire’s waste water continues to be of great concern; and rightly so given the toxins that can exist in proposed water-flows.  The proposed West Byron  developer/development is dealing with this issue in an ad hoc and inadequate manner.  The community must call for Legislative Policy application when addressing water infrastructure.   What effluent and wastes will this Bangalow development release?

To deeply nail the issue addressing the need for an EIS; this will be further compounded if these proposed Rural Industries produce more than 30.000 tonnes per year of waste, effluent etc.

The most outstanding question is …will effluent be disposed on site within metres of the Byron Creek?  What outlet for waste is proposed?

It is hard to know what sense the JRPP will  make from such a ‘void-less” DA! Who is the head honcho guiding this development?  (Honcho’s exist in State and Local governance).

When IKEA, a very large development was proposed in Tempe, Sydney, Marrickville Council swung into action to seek information from the surrounding communites who also live in heritage homes.   Traffic was a major concern. The council treated the community with respect and integrity and a solution was created.

One can only hold their breath with this Bangalow proposed development. It reveals all of the characteristics of the developers who have successfully avoided imperative state/local legislation governing community and environmental rights (social Impact statements, flora and fauna  and enviromental impact studies).

With no guiding principles and an abuse of public interest by state and local governments, communities will continue to be either exploited or outraged. This is no solution and it blatantly violates the rights of a civil society.

Finally, when will council formally ratify the rezoning of Bangalow to the status to that of an industrial estate? This is a question of great public interest.

Jo Faith, Newtown 

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  1. Dear Jo,
    Thanks for taking the time to express your concerns over this development.
    The points you raise are those that we have been asking to be clarified for some months now.
    But the crux of the matter is how can council make a determination or more correctly, recommendation to the JRPP for eight industrial sheds that only two have nominated tenants. It is also beyond comprehension that a development of this size does not need and Environmental Impact Statement. Really, since when does a 10ha footprint of steel, concrete and bitumen on state significant farmlands not need and EIS? if council recommends this to the JRPP they are taking a huge leap of faith in a developer at the expense of rational, intelligent and educated objection. Our community deserves better treatment, better information and a better outcome.
    It’s not too late to write a submission to Council.
    Ean Jones

  2. Dear Jo, you quite rightly ask whether the intended use under RU1 can meet acoustic noise standards of that zoning. This may be why the existing operations of “prospective tenants” (of which there are now only two for the 36,400m2 of factory space) operate in N1 and N2 zones, not because the activities don’t meet the RU1 definition but because they don’t meet RU1 acoustic standards???

    It is difficult to see how the proposal could adequately manage noise impacts and not violate the Evironmemental Protection and Operations Act.

  3. I agree with what has been said in the previous three letters about the DA for a collection of eight massive sheds, 504 car parking spaces and associated infrastructure and utilities to be built on rural land at 201 Lismore Rd Bangalow.

    I was absolutely thrilled to read yesterday that the Mayor and the Greens Councillors have put a Notice of Motion to Council that states their objection to this development. The motion demonstrates to me that the Mayor and the Greens Councillors have given the DA considerable thought.

    Given that it is impossible from the information provided in the DA to properly assess the various impacts of this development, it is only right and proper that the DA be refused.

    Let us support Council and other Regional authorities to find some industrial land near the expressway for our local food industries if and when the need is formally established.


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