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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Council says rezoning of sports ground won’t change use

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Byron Bay Rec Grounds.  Photo byron4kids.com
Byron Bay Rec Ground. Photo byron4kids.com

Byron Shire Council has moved to reassure sporting teams that they won’t be pushed off the Byron Bay Recreation Ground despite a plan to rezone it from sports to general community use.

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson said suggestions that sporting clubs would be forced off the fields are ‘simply untrue.’

He added that sporting fixtures remained the ‘number one priority for the future management of the Rec Ground’.

‘Byron Shire Council has no intention of limiting or changing the use of the Rec Ground for sports activities and rumours that the playing fields will be downgraded so they are unable to be used for regional competitions and fixtures are incorrect,’ Mayor Richardson said.

‘The Byron Bay Rec Ground is a wonderful community asset; it has been the gathering place for people for more than 90 years and the council has no plans to change this.

‘The council is aware the Rec Ground has very strong ties to the community particularly as a memorial to the local men who died in World War 1 and World War 2 and recognises this important history.

‘The council will not be doing anything to disrespect this important part of local history,’ Mayor Richardson said.

Concerts, festivals, outdoor cinema

The Rec Ground is currently categorised as sports ground and the council says its proposal to rezone it to general community use ‘will allow the area to be used for a broader range of activities’.

‘The Revised Plan of Management for the Byron Shire Recreation Ground is looking at retaining the area for sport but to also allow the community to use the space for a range of different activities such as an outdoor cinema, a festival, or for a one-off concert,’ Mayor Richardson said.

‘The council is proposing that user agreements be signed with all sporting clubs and this will mean that any extra activity on the Rec Ground will only be allowed if they are complimentary to the needs of the clubs and users,’ he said.

‘The contribution local sports clubs make to the Byron Bay community is immense, not just in terms of getting people active and moving, but the friendships and social interaction they inspire for people of all ages is equally important,’ Mayor Richardson said.

‘I spent my childhood in and around sporting clubs and I understand the value of these organisations and the value they bring to the Byron Bay community.

‘I love the benefits local sporting clubs provide – they are community centres, provide mentoring across generations, foster fun and activity for families and long may this be the case at the Byron Bay Rec Ground and everywhere else in the Shire for that matter.

No markets

‘There are also no plans to move the monthly market to the Rec Ground or any other regular market for that matter,’ he said.

‘This Draft Plan of Management for the Byron Recreation Ground is about being able to use that community land, when there is no sport being played, for some other occasional uses.

‘The council is committed to not only maintaining and supporting the grounds for current and future sports activities, but we want to improve facilities and put in more water bubblers and enhance the playground.

‘The Byron Bay Recreation Ground has been used for sport for generations and that will continue to be the case in the future,’ Mayor Richardson said.

‘I urge anyone with questions about this Draft Plan of Management to contact the council and a staff member will be available to talk to them,’ he said.

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  1. This council appears committed to the destruction of community within Byron Bay.

    They don’t want residents living in the town anymore. They want it all about tourists.

    What benefit is their to local residents to have outdoor cinemas, concerts, fetes and other “community” uses? The beachfront, the town streets, are all crowded to the point of saturation. Council now wants to take away the last quiet green space where local residents can go with their kids for some peace away from the saturated madness that is now Byron Bay. Why? Money – pure and simple.

    This so called Green council is far from it. Few of the councilors live in the town – Federal is not Byron Bay – but prescribe what is “best” for residents. There is a clear agenda to turn the town into one big “Air BnB”. Its hard enough having new neighbours every week partying day after day, night after night. But now council wants to put a bunch of money making uses on the recreation grounds, in the middle of a residential area to further drive out residents. We already have Cavanbah Centre and Red Devils park for these things.

    This council has lost its way. To all those that live in Byron Bay and know the value of a quiet place to go and exercise or play with your kids or for your kids to play in safety, resist this heinous money grab.


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