22.6 C
Byron Shire
November 27, 2021

Byron council has 180 holiday-lets in its sights

Latest News

COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

Other News

Ballina council votes for waterfront affordable and social housing

The Ballina Shire Council has voted unanimously to ask for state government commitment on waterfront affordable and social housing as part of a marina upgrade.

New Russian satellite-killer produces decades of fallout

‘Irresponsible’ Russian anti-satellite weapon sends shockwaves through space community with 1500 fresh fragments cannoning about in low-Earth orbit.

Elephant in Byron Shire

During the 1980s Byron Shire Council introduced an LEP which included a building envelope that restricted the height of...

On yer marks! get set – fundraise!

The Ballina Region for Refugees were part of a nationwide event on the weekend – a 5-kilometre fundraising walk on a drizzly, grey Sunday, but with spirits undampened. 

Editorial – A potted history of local elections

The election of the Byron Shire mayor and councillors on December 4 will be the ninth such poll this newspaper has covered.

Lismore Mayoral candidate cries foul over election signage tampering

Lismore City Council Mayoral candidate Steve Krieg is calling out what he says is the illegal removal and defacement of his signage in the lead up to next month's local government elections.

Manager of Santos Organics and Greens councillor Michael Lyon. Photo Jeff Dawson

Byron Shire Council is currently monitoring 180 holiday-let premises in the shire and has already issued notices to two of them advising them to cease, according to Cr Michael Lyon (Greens).

‘Council staff have been working hard to progress two cases and have now issued notices of proposed orders, with development control orders to soon follow to require the ceasing of the activity,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘Separate to this, prosecutions under a different arm of the EPA act are being pursued for past breaches and the hearings are expected to be held shortly,’ he added.

In a 2014 case involving an unauthorised holiday-let property in Gosford, the court ruled its use was ‘prohibited and constituted development without consent in breach of s 76B of the EPA Act’.

In Byron Shire, Cr Lyon says there are currently ‘over 180 properties that we are actively looking into which are suspected of unauthorised STHL’.

Residents who are concerned about unauthorised short-term holiday letting (STHL) can visit the Council web page on STHL and report it, and staff will follow up.

Estate agents, platforms may be liable

Cr Lyon says letters have also been issued to real estate agents in the area, ‘after Council received legal advice suggesting that agents may also be liable for the use of the property if they facilitated a breach of the EPA act’.

‘What is also potentially exciting, is that the reasoning in the case the advice, also suggests that we can target the online platforms too if they facilitate breaches of the EPA act,’ he added.

Cr Lyon added that ‘in Byron, it is essential that entire homes where there is not normally a permanent resident must be returned to the pool of long-term lets’.

‘This pool has become more of a puddle in Byron,’ he added.

Ripping community apart

‘Only last week, a family I know that needed to move, with two full-time working parents, has had to relocate out of the Suffolk Park area due to the lack of availability and affordability of suitable housing.

He said that a call by the minister for more research across NSW ‘will only help’ but added the Coastal Councils Association ‘has already commissioned detailed research and in the case of Byron the jury is in and the verdict delivered’.

‘Unregulated STHL of entire homes on Airbnb and Stayz is ripping our community apart. We must be allowed to rule out certain types of lets.

‘Registration and regulation are essential tools to ensure proper compliance and it is encouraging that the state government appears to be moving in this direction.

‘There has been concern that the lobbying and political donations from the billion dollar platforms might lead to poor decisions here, but there is hope yet,’ Cr Lyon said.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

11 COMMENTS

  1. All they have to do is go through channels and get approval.

    This MUST stop.

    Council have a good thing going by stopping this ‘illegal’ trade.

  2. I also recently became a ‘statistic’ – a single older woman on a pension, pushed out after 17 years as a renter in Suffolk. Not much available and all twice the price of what I have been paying- and mostly half as good. .plus no one wants to sign rent assistance forms! Depressing.I also lost my long term community. The storage facility in the industrial estate where my things are, told me that imy situation is now a common story. The day I signed up there, I met another woman there who I know …over 70, single and recently informed by her landlord that her 15 year rental in Myocum is to become an Airbnb property.
    Thanks for taking this on Council. Byron shire is my home and I resent being told that at 65 plus I should,consider share housing,moving to Lismore etc.etc please just open up more genuine affordable housing options. Otherwise we all lose the diversity which is part of what makes this place so special.

  3. Can you please give more information in regards to the political donations from these billion dollar overseas platforms. I think that would make for a great factual story that people need to know. Have the liberals been taking money from these companies that are killing our communities?

  4. When are the NSW land and Environment Court prosecutions that Byron Shire council said would happen going to begin? Can Cr Michael Lyons answer this?

  5. STHL…nearly as damaging as two thousand road workers taking scarce local accommodation.

    Oops…let’s not mention that one!

  6. Can I just ask, where the @#? are all the lovely festival and event goers, that council approves the development of and for which there are now 100’s per year, going to stay during their visit to Byron Bay to participate in, OR all the wedding guests that arrive to attend their beloved’s wedding OR the holiday makers who make their annual pilgrimage to Byron OR the weekend warriors who beseech the town every weekend.
    Part of this problem lies directly with council, who participate in and promote tourism, and who permit and give development consents to all these festivals and events.
    Be careful not to bite the hand that feeds you !!!!
    As always I promote commonsense and a degree of fairness.
    Extremely large houses are going to attract large numbers of guests, theby creating the major part of the social issues, noise, partying til late in the night etc
    Yet council keeps approving extremely large houses that are obviously going to be used for holiday accommodation.
    Oh, back to council and their part in all of this.
    Council should be very careful not to point the finger as it may come apointing back to them.

    • Louisa,the answer to your question is extremely easy and simple. Visitors and tourists to Byron Shire can stay in legally approved accommodation, not the illegal short term holiday lets. Traditional accommodation, such as B and B’s, hotels and motels have been legally approved by Council to meet Building Code of Australia class 1(a) or class 3 standards. They also follow the Commonwealth Disability Access to Premises legislation, fire safety standards, pay a GST, pay commercial council rates and so on.

      Tourist and visitor accommodation as represented by illegal holiday letting in residential zones is a prohibited activity and development without consent. As one NSW Land and Environment Court judge said in their judgement “mixing short term holiday letting with residential is fundamentally incompatible.”

  7. I have been waiting more than 20 years for a reply from Council to a letter outlining the impact of a STHL on my premises. At that stage in the Shire’s evolution/now revolution there was some chance of doing something to halt or regulate the scourge that this phenomenon has become on our population. I wonder how much of a couldn’t-care-less approach other aggrieved citizens have encountered over the years. It would be nice to think that something is finally about to happen but right on the eve of the NSW Government’s determination on the issue may be a bit late for the stable door.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Kingscliff Public School gets long-awaited upgrade

If you were wondering what is happening at Kingscliff Public School, construction is well underway on an upgrade.

Community carers and responders program launched

Following the recent second anniversary of the bushfires that hit our region, Resilient Byron say they are proud to announce the beginning of their...

Leigh Thomas says political affiliations not relevant to Council decision making

Leigh Thomas is the lead candidate for Group M running in the upcoming Tweed Shire Council elections. Mr Thomas is a member of the...

When we get to 95 per cent vaccination, this will happen

Just when we were getting used to the current COVID roadmap, it has changed directions. Adjustments to previous settings scheduled for this milestone were announced yetserday.