Byron’s majority Greens councillors led by mayor Simon Richardson have announced they will oppose the proposed Bangalow Food Hub development.
Mayor Simon Richardson said the food hub ‘provides too much local impact for too little local benefit’.
On Thursday, he will move an urgency motion that the council’s opposition to the DA be adopted, and he has urged anyone concerned about the DA to make their submissions known by tomorrow (Tuesday).
‘It is crucial council stands alongside the teeming majority of local residents who oppose the outrageous scale and size of this proposal,’ Cr Richardson said in a statement.
‘After careful consideration of the proposed Bangalow Food Hub, as outlined in the DA before the Joint Regional Planning Panel, I and the other Greens councillors have come to the conclusion that this DA should be rejected due to the many deficiencies in the proposal, the many questions still unanswered and the lack of tangible benefits for the community of Bangalow and the wider Byron Shire,’ he said.
‘This Food Industries Precinct provides too much local impact for too little local benefit, and as residents of this shire who, as mayor and councillors of council have been excluded from the decision making process for the largest commercial development in the history of the shire, we are left to oppose this development as local residents who love our shire.
‘We call upon all concerned residents to make a submission to this DA before the 2nd of August. Submissions can be made to council.
‘The residents of this shire who may inherit the impacts of this DA must have a say in whether it proceeds,’ Cr Richardson said.
Echonetdaily recently reported that an opponent of the food hub proposal believed there has been a coordinated campaign of support for the development, with ‘pro-forma’ submissions from people living outside the area, including one from a seven-year-old child.
The application was originally exhibited last year with 77 submissions received with support for and against the development evenly split. A range of issues were raised in the submissions including flooding, traffic and access to the site from Lismore Road.
A Byron Shire Council spokesperson confirmed that an assessment report would be prepared and submitted to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) for consideration and determination of the development application.
‘In accordance with the JRPP process all submissions received by the Council will be provided to the JRPP, and submitters will be able to address the JRPP at the Panel meeting directly.’
On Thursday, Cr Richardson said the following urgency motion would be put to the council.
1. That Council prepare a submission on the Development Application 10.2016.283.1- Rural Industries Food Precinct.
2. That a Council staff member (not involved in the assessment of the Development Application in point 1) be requested to finalise a submission on behalf of Council objecting to the Development Application 10.2016.283.1 on the following grounds:
a) excessive bulk and scale of buildings and infrastructure not in keeping with a rural and local village setting
b) failure to provide clarity on the changing cost of the project to make it eligible for JRPP consideration; and lack of certainty as to changes that have exacerbated the cost increase; requiring either a need for an amended DA, or an extended period of exhibition for public submissions
c) insufficient information to enable an informed consideration of the traffic impacts, as many activities and tenants are yet to be identified and the mix between car and truck movements are yet to be known.
d) failure to adequately address koala impacts on site and nearby through the submission of a Koala Plan of Management for the site and its development, including dealing with potential threats to connectivity;
f) failure to outline the need for such a large food industry precinct, as only two tenants have been identified, calling into question the accuracy of defining the DA as a food industry precinct.
3. That the Council submission be finalised and submitted up to seven days before any scheduled JRPP meeting on the Development Application. This submission to include any other matters that may be pertinent to the consideration of the Development Application by the JRPP in addition to those in point 2 above.
4. That Council confirm a staff representative and the following individual Councillors: Richardson, ……, ….., Cameron and …..to be registered to address the planning panel at the scheduled meeting of the JRPP to express the views of Council.
5. That Council request the JRPP to hold a public briefing meeting after the exhibition has ended, and invite any person who made a submission to present, before the assessment report is finalised.
6. That Council write to Ben Franklin MLC, Tamara Smith MLA, Justine Elliot MP, Walt Secord MLC, Dawn Walker MLC and Gabrielle Upton MP, outlining the resolution and request their supp