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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Report rules out buried bodies on Nth Lismore Plateau

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A view of the North Lismore Plateau. (Darren Coyne)

The Lismore City Council has announced that an exhumation of a grave-like feature on the North Lismore Plateau has failed to unearth any human remains.

The exhumation was carried out after an archeology report by Georadar Pty Ltd for the Everick Heritage Consultants , who are acting for the Winter Property Group developers on 18 January 2017.

The council announced this week that forensics specialists had examined the site and a report was expected soon.

But the initial findings were that the exhumation process had failed to identify any human remains in the location identified by ground-penetrating radar in the archaeological assessment.

Meanwhile, the council has placed on public exhibition two voluntary planning agreements related to biodiversity management and water and sewer infrastructure for the land being developed by the Winten Group.

The voluntary planning agreements outline terms for private developers to share the costs of internal water and sewer infrastructure to service their developments on the North Lismore Plateau.

The council announced it would  prepare a report following the public exhibition period, which would be presented to the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), which would make a final assessment on the development application.

‘At the end of the submission process, we will prepare an assessment report on the DA for the Winten Group land to address all of the relevant environmental issues, so that the independently appointed JRPP can properly assess and determine the DA on its own merit,’ Council’s Manager of Development and Assessment Peter Jeuken said.

Meanwhile, the council is still negotiating with the second developer group, the Plateau North Group over whether they will sign up to voluntary planning agreements.

TPNG representative Andrew Purtle last week told the council meeting that the group was still waiting for reports to be finalised and was not in favour of the council compulsorily acquiring land for easements through the property to service land owned by the Winten Group, as had been suggested by staff.

TPNG solicitors had informed council staff that while the group was willing to continue negotiations over VPAs, it was not in a position to lodge a development application until mid April. The group’s planning timeline had been disrupted by the need to amend its plan following the receipt of an updated ecologist’s report.

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