A 387-lot proposal for West Byron, to be developed in stages, is now on public exhibition via Byron Shire Council’s website from December 14 until February 7, 2018.
The 108-hectare site is located 2.5 kilometres west of Byron Bay on Ewingsdale Road and the controversial project will be undertaken by QLD construction company Villaworld.
At an estimated cost of $40m, the DA comes in 33 separate documents totalling 1,647 pages. The files combined are just over 1GB in size.
Plan of management documents include biodiversity conservation, traffic, engineering, acid sulfate soils, stormwater, cultural heritage, bushfire, flood, noise assessment, vegetation, flora and fauna and landscaping.
Two business lots, two industrial lots and ‘four residue lots’ are also proposed.
A skate area is suggested for the park, as well as community gardens and a cycleway. A neighbourhood centre area, along with two recreational areas, is also planned.
Under the hood
Within the Design Guidelines document, both two-storey, four-bedroom homes and high-density terrace-style dwellings are presented.
Blocks range from 205m2 up to duplex blocks of around 800–900m2. (As a point of comparison the traditional Aussie quarter-acre block is approximately 1,000m2.)
There are 25 duplex blocks indicated in the masterplan.
To complete the project, traffic consultants Veitch Lister say ‘up to 300,000m3 of fill will be required to complete the site formation across the whole [West Byron area], in order to achieve the desired flood immunity.’
The traffic consultants admit they are ‘unsure how Villaworld plan to implement their initial works within the western stage one precinct.’
The report says the ‘biggest construction traffic problem facing Villaworld will be the construction of the new roundabout at the Bayshore Drive intersection.’
‘Once that roundabout is completed, the intersection should operate well, as the construction traffic volumes can be expected to be less than those ultimately forecast and assessed.’
The traffic consultants say they ‘have not assessed any of the traffic issues that might arise during the construction of the western stage one precinct. These matters are for Villaworld’s traffic consultants to address.’
Sustainability requirements are minimal within the Design Guidelines document, and the entire project comes without any inclusion for affordable housing.
The Design Guidelines document (page 25) says of sustainability that ‘[it should aim to] optimise natural light, warmth, cooling and air flow through cross-ventilation, orientation and passive solar design, design for longevity minimising maintenance, incorporation of solar panels… re-use of water and rainwater tanks, AAA water consumption appliances, fixtures and fittings, planting and location of native species, selection and durability of the materials.’
The traffic report claims on page three that traffic on Ewingsdale Road is ‘now in excess of 20,000 vehicles per day (vpd) in the off season.’
‘… the road itself generally operates within its capacity; but there can be excessive delays to traffic attempting to turn right onto it from side roads in the peak periods. Despite this, there can be long queues of traffic on it in the AM peak and on weekends and holiday periods, when traffic restraints within the township (particularly the Jonson/Lawson St roundabout) cause queue-back along Ewingsdale Road toward the highway.’
It continues, ‘Anticipated growth in tourism and residential uses within Byron Bay township will require a number of road network improvements to be effected over the next 15–20 years.’
‘These will include the Butler Street extension (aka ‘the long bypass’) and upgrading of intersections along Ewingsdale Road (and ultimately upgrading it to four lanes).’
‘The West Byron developments will contribute to the upgrades along Ewingsdale Road and to the Butler Street Extension, via a special levy of $7,000 per lot, as agreed in the Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) signed by the landowners and the minister of planning in October 2014.’
The expected length of road that could be expected from the estimation of $2,709,000 (7,000 x 387) is yet to be provided, yet The Echo understands it would be less than 4km.
The traffic report continues, ‘At this point in time, there is no set timetable for delivery of these road improvements; but [we] understand that planning and design is progressing and that the current works at the Sunshine Boulevard are the first of a sequence of intersection upgrades that are to be implemented.’
Written submissions are welcome, says Council, but the DA states that grounds for objections ‘must be specified.’ Those submissions will also be sent to the JRPP and other government agencies. Novelty letterboxes are prohibited.