The company behind Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Music and Arts Festival wants the right to hold events of up to 50,000 people at the North Byron Parklands site on a permanent basis.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is now waiting on the applicant’s environmental impact statement for the proposal, which would then be exhibited for public comment.
The application coincides with an assessment report from the Department which says the company will be allowed to continue its gigs at the site for another 20 months.
The assessment report has been sent to the independent Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision, which considers that the trial period for outdoor events of up to 35,000 patrons can be extended to August 2019.
The Department’s acting director for key sites and industry assessments Mike Young said the festivals are popular sell out events that are attended by locals and people from all over Australia.
‘We received more than 600 submissions from the public, government agencies and community groups when the modification was on exhibition. More than 80 per cent of submissions were in support of the proposal,’ Mr Young said.
Music festivals have been held at the site for the last four years as part of a trial period granted by the Planning Assessment Commission in 2012. Since the trial began, Billinudgel Property, has been working to improve its environmental management and minimise impacts to the local community.
‘There are a number of conditions imposed under the approval to minimise impacts. This includes strict noise limits during events and measures to ensure traffic impacts are minimised. The Department’s compliance officers have also attended a number of events, including the recent Splendour in the Grass, to monitor compliance on the site.’
The events held at the site provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the broader area.
An economic study for Falls Festival 2014/15 and Splendour in the Grass 2015 found that these two events contributed more than $100 million, created nearly 200 full-time jobs and took up 28,995 room nights in accommodation within the Byron local government area and 7,721 room nights in other areas of Northern NSW over a period of eight days.