Update: Byron Shire Council has confirmed that a controversial development application for a massive food processing estate on the outskirts of Bangalow, variously dubbed a ‘food precinct’ and a ‘food hub’ has been withdrawn by the proponents following widespread objection to the development from the community.
Both the town’s Progress Association and Chamber of Commerce took a stand against the proposed development at 201 Lismore Road, with arguments including bulk and scale, traffic and parking issues, as well as the potential for flooding and pollution of adjacent Byron Creek.
And there had been a further call to arms in recent days with Bangalow resident Linda Sparrow, who organised a petition against the development, writing to supporters, ‘With just under 2,000 signatures on our petition both written and change.org, Bangalow has shown a clear message of opposition to this massive factory development on agricultural land.’
Byron Mayor Simon Richardson said, ‘It was a welcome relief… when news of the withdrawal of the Bangalow Food Hub application became known.
‘It is a testament to what an informed, inspired and invigorated community can do.
‘However, now we must turn our attention to trying to find homes for those food producers who were caught in the middle of the issue. These are great local people making great local food; hopefully, we can all use this same community invigoration to find solutions to their challenges of finding spaces to remain here and grow,’ he said.
It is not known at this stage what reasons the proponents, Chase Lismore Road Pty Ltd, gave for withdrawing the proposal but a spokesperson for Byron Shire Council said, ‘This will now be processed and staff will advise the JRPP and also those who made a submission.’
Original report: A public meeting regarding the proposed large-scale Bangalow food hub planned for 201 Lismore Road will be held by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) on March 15.
Known as a ‘Rural Industries Food Precinct,’ it has attracted much criticism from residents owing to the scale of the proposal, land use, flood and sewerage issues and potential traffic impacts.
As the value of the application’s capital investment is over $20m, Byron Shire Council is not the consent authority for the development application (DA); instead it will be determined by the ‘independent’ JRPP, which are appointed by the government.
The northern region panel is headed by former National Party MP Garry West.
The subject site would be developed in stages and comprises three 5,000 square metre Rural (Agricultural) lndustrial Buildings B1, B2 and B3 that can be doubled in size to 10,000 square metres in later stages.
A 3,000 square metre rural industry building B4 is proposed along with three rural industry buildings of 800 square metres B5, B6 and B7, plus, a 1,000 square metre ‘food excellence facility’ (C1) where local and regional agricultural produce can be prepared and presented to food purchasers and the general public.
Within building C1 a restaurant/cafe takeaway food shop is proposed, which would primarily cater ‘for onsite employees and limited public visitor use’.
Building A1 is an existing dwelling relocated within the site to be used as an administration centre and information building.
The meeting of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel will take place on March 15 from 4pm at the Bangalow A&I Hall, 3 Station Street.