Transport for NSW has confirmed that it is ‘in discussions’ to sell a 611sqm parcel of rail corridor behind the Wollongbar Motel on Shirley Street, Byron Bay, to developer Wollongbar Properties.
According to the development application (DA), the developer has been granted preliminary approval from Byron Council for a 17-unit luxury apartment complex on the site.
Within the DA, correspondence shows that Transport for NSW and the developer have settled on a price of $465,000 for the public land, and that the government authority is ready to go ahead with the sale.
Wollongbar Properties was not available for comment when contacted by The Echo.
However, it is understood the purchase of the rail corridor land is needed to ensure that the apartment development remains under the maximum 60 per cent floor space ratio for the site.
The pending sale of the rail corridor land was revealed in a second DA, lodged with Council on November 29. This DA also sets out an expansion of the proposed development to include an extra storey containing two more units.
The Echo understands such a sale will result in it being very difficult for future governments to reverse this decision, owing to the cost and legal ramifications of reacquiring the land. It will also limit the potential use of the corridor for public use such an extended park, cycle path or walking track.