The government has put plans up for a permanent home for the North Byron Parklands, home to Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival.
The Department of Planning and Environment (DoP) is now seeking public feedback on a proposal to make cultural events a permanent fixture at the site.
It follows a trial period of five years, plus a 20 month extension.
DoP say that upgrades to the site worth $42 million are proposed and include a conference centre, a permanent ‘golden view’ bar, terracing of the main amphitheatre, improvements to transport infrastructure, and restoration and maintenance of vegetation and habitat.
‘The site would operate 24 hours a day on event days, however amplified music from the stages would be restricted to 11am to midnight, or to 1am on new year’s eve.’
The Echo asked the department how much revenue Byron Shire Council could expect from the festival site, if/when approved. Parklands’ general manager Mat Morris previously told The Echo they pay rates of around $20,000 to Council per year and are largely self contained with onsite sewer etc.
A DoP spokesperson replied by promoting the festival site’s ‘significant economic injection into the local economy.’
They told The Echo, ‘An economic assessment, prepared for the current development application, identified that in 2016 the two events generated about $126.4 million in economic output for the northern rivers region, with around $34.6 million for the Byron area.’
‘The capital investment value of $42 million refers to the cost to the applicant to undertake the project.
Further infrastructure funding may be required through the council’s section 94 provision, a process which ensures developers make contributions to support infrastructure around their project. This will be considered in the Department’s assessment of the application.
‘The application is currently on exhibition and the Department welcomes feedback. It will carefully assess the proposal based on its merits and taking into consideration any submissions made.’
A separate modification request has also been lodged to modify the Concept Plan Approval to reflect the continued use of the Parklands as a cultural events site.
The SSD application and the modification request are on exhibition for an extended period and submissions can be made until 16 February 2018.
To make a submission or view the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal click here.