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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Saddle Road ridge development can be different

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Like many of Byron shire’s residents, I am mourning the rezoning of West Byron, and hoping it will not be as destructive to the (somewhat stretched) fabric of the shire as we all imagine it might be.

These kinds of development pressures on the shire have been one of the many considerations that prompted my enthusiastic interest and growing involvement in the Bruns Eco-village vision.

Many residents of the shire sense that most of our current human ways of settling on the land still fall a long way short of utilising the combined wisdom and knowledge as our species.

In a shire that is already known for its innovation and creative energy, we are eager to ‘lift the bar’ again, creating a whole new standard for housing developments that much more fully serve the needs of current and future generations.

As I see it, projects like the proposed Bruns Eco-village are essential if spreading, Gold Coast style development is to be avoided, and the distinctive qualities of Byron shire are to be maintained into the 21st century.

Like Chris Cooney (Byron Shire Echo letters 3 Jan) I would be disappointed to see Saddle Road Ridge (and West Byron) covered in standard, late 20th-century-style housing development.

I know we can do better than this as a species, and especially here in Byron shire, with our high proportion of creatives, innovators and healers.

I very much hope that our politics, planning processes and protocols do not wipe out this particular experiment in human maturation before it gets off the ground.

The symbol of Byron shire is the beacon. With the social world facing widespread and unprecedented change in the 21st century, it needs these kinds of beacons more than ever.

Dr Jaqueline Morris, Suffolk Park



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  1. Dr Morris has, in what I can only described as a ‘feel good’ piece is encouraged to check the permissible development in any rezoning of Saddle Ridge escarpment. Permissible uses cannot be dismissed. They represent the choices a developer has, or an ‘invitation’ to whatever development type is permissible under the LEP.

    What has to be clearly taken on board is what would the escarpment look like with it totally developed with any one of the permissible uses. Please check it out!

    I have looked at the permissible uses under the sought rezoning by the Bruns Eco-Village proponents and was horrified.

  2. I was motivated to write to the Echo to have my voice heard regarding the proposed Bruns Eco Village development on Saddle Rd and following my recent experience as a participant in the Village Development Course, held in Coorabel.
    I own and operate an integrative Veterinary Clinic in Alice Springs and have been intensely interested in whole-community strategies that work towards solving a lot of the World’s’ problems, including financial stress, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence, loss of our biodiversity and damage to whole ecosystems and mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression which are related closely to the way we live our lives, particularly in the West.
    The mature and wholistic approach to establishing a functional and regenerative ( not just sustainable ) community on the proposed Saddle Rd development is a paradigm shift for a lot of people & will require courage on the part of Council and existing property owners on Saddle Rd & the greater Byron Shire Community to understand and ( hopefully ) accept & adopt. It will have very little negative environmental impact & will be a showcase for regenerative living models both in Australia and overseas. Byron Shire would be a most appropriate place to hold that kind of reputation.
    I was impressed by the content of the Village Development course, which aims to equip future Village residents with the personal and communication skills to live in real Community with others in an honest and authentic way. One could only imagine the World if everyone were to learn Non-violent Communication, conflict resolution and sociocracy ( dynamic governance), let alone Permaculture principles!
    My comment to the organisers was along the lines of “I would have travelled halfway around the World to be involved in such a critical project such as this, in terms of being a part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem”. Please do not listen to the fear-mongering around this issue. It is too important for us all to lose this unique opportunity. The BEV organisers have always been very honest and transparent with communicating and trying to better inform the greater community and property owners. Thank You for listening.


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