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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Byron Greens councillors oppose Bangalow food hub

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Image from the Lismore Road food factory precinct DA.
Image from the Lismore Road food factory precinct DA.

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

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you to the Mayor and Green councillors, our elected representatives, for supporting the Bangalow community, Bangalow businesses and the Bangalow community groups who have come out very strongly in objection to this inappropriate and flawed proposal. This development would destroy all that makes Bangalow special.

  2. Wonderful news that our council is supporting the community of Bangalow against such a monstrosity of a development. With over 1,700 signatures in protest against this DA clearly the voice of the community is finally being heard.
    The size, scale and location of this development coupled with traffic and ecological issues were of major concern to our village.
    Bangalow is a heritage village surrounded by significant farmland. Farmlands not factories.

    • Linda – I believe Mr Elias has gone on record to say the development is not proceeding due to ‘community outrage’. Certainly worth asking him to clarify this as Councils/Greens position may now not matter.

  3. I support the Greens on most things. But how is the byron shire not suitable for a huge value added food precinct? Where is a more suitable place in the shire than west of bangalow on the main road? Maybe council should suggest this development occur at West Byron instead of the housing monstrosity. Maybe it would be better placed closer to Lismore. As it stands they are rejecting a great opportunity with no suggested changes. Object to the scale if you must but not the idea.

    I read one opponent of the project objecting because it provided jobs for people from Lismore and Kyogle, who in their view are not locals. Thats a pretty disgraceful view of the region. Come on people, the area actually needs to function for agriculture, it cant just be a place for rich retirees to flitter from cafe to cafe.

    • i’m with mooch,
      Also..
      I feel it would be good for our whole region if there was more good clean sustainable production, processing and manufacturing, do it green do it clean, with the flow on effects in a real positive way are huge.
      In turn by supporting local businesses, the business can support the community.
      Endless construction and tourism is not the only way to go.
      We should all be very proud of the awesome talented creative people wanting to have a go and doing it in a caring and sustainable way, our region is so special and needs far more support from all people, government and local business.
      and by the way Bangalow wasn’y always so ‘pretty’ years ago they totally trashed there forests, their creeks and killed off most of the native animals sure they were improving things and in Byron Bay they were cashing whales. The money to pay for our lifestyle has to come from somewhere, better its done in front of us in a sustainable way with local people profiting and befitting the whole community.

    • I agree too.

      We desperately need more decent industries and employment that is not tourism based. This is the perfect opportunity to do it right and put in all the proper checks and balances to make it a truly sustainable endeavour that might also give our agircultural sector a much needed boost…..

      Or we can watch the NIMBY’s run another crusade that sees the developers go to court and have substandard plans accepted, or move to another region that actually understands that people need jobs in industries other than hospitality.

      Amalgamation sounds better every day.

      • HAHAHA, classic Al. Great point about developers having substandard plans accepted, because even a casual scan of the DA shows exactly that. Substandard plans! Inaccurate, incomplete and, I suspect, INVALID. A DA has to comply with a plethora of rules,conditions and standards before it can even be considered by Council.

  4. just another attempt to stop people having a go the greens are a mess how on earth can they make a decision based on sound business sense they have none

    • hey Pablo

      All Councillors voted in support of Simons motion so I guess its not just the greens hey? Check out the Da its way more than just a food hub which is why the vote was unanimous. Perhaps you need a bit more information before making uninformed statements

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