Realtor/developer Graham Dunn has stood by his decision to remain on the Byron Bay masterplan leadership team while being involved with a $21m four-storey high-density DA (development application), located on the corner block opposite Mitre 10 and Byron Music.
The Byron Bay masterplan leadership team comprises 22 community members who will advise and direct the town’s masterplan delivery.
The DA proposes 24 residential apartments, 26 serviced apartments, a 65-capacity childcare centre, two retail premises and a restaurant.
While the community has for many years fought hard to retain a three-storey height limit, Mr Dunn’s DA states that four storeys ‘are a response to the recommendations of the council-adopted Byron Bay Masterplan.’
As the development is estimated to be over $20m, the state government’s Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) will be the consent authority, which approves almost 100 per cent of development applications.
Remarkably Mr Dunn claims there is no pecuniary interest as he told the group of his intention to develop the site when he joined the group. Mr Dunn says he declared his pecuniary interest both in writing and verbally.
However spokesperson for the group Donald Maughan told The Echo he attended every meeting and had ‘no recollection of Mr Dunn stating any interests in the development in the southern end of Jonson Street.’
Fellow team member Dr Mary Gardner also supported Mr Maughan’s statement.
Mr Maughan said, ‘I cannot speak for the community members of the masterplan leadership team; however, on a personal level this DA that proposes to exceed current height restrictions does worry me. Its size and its impact on transport movement and infrastructure in the community of the Bay will be significant.’
‘The fact that it’s costed at over $20m has the possibility of taking its approval from council’s jurisdiction to the state government and that really worries me as the community loses any say.
‘I emphasise that the masterplan leadership committee has not discussed this DA and to my knowledge community members in the team were not aware of its detail.’
Councillors selected 22 community members for the leadership team at its December 15, 2016 meeting.
They are Helen Buckley, Garry Chigwidden, Anne Leitch, Gail Fuller, Byron Rogers, Fleur Verschure, Meredith Wray, Vicki Henricks, Mono Stewart, David Michie, Peggy O’Neill, Troy Eady, Greg Meek, Chris Hanley, Kirra Pendergast, Dan Schreiber, Donald Maughan, Graham Dunn, Mary Gardner, Geoff Bensley, Tony Gembeck and Charlie Wilson.
For more info visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au/byron-bay-town-centre-masterplan.
This story was amended to reflect the proposal is for 24 residential apartments, not 24 shops, as well as a restaurant, not cafe. The DA is also valued at $23.18m, not $21m. The $21m figure was taken from the DA but a new figure was provided by the developer.