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Byron Shire
December 5, 2023

Saddle Road suburb knocked back

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Area 17 on Saddle Road

Plans to create a new suburb of upwards of 450 dwellings – including an affordable-housing component – on the ridge between Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby were rejected by Council before its assessment was completed.

Yet a successful amendment by mayor Simon Richardson at Thursday’s meeting invites ‘individual site proposals from within area 17 (Saddle Road) that include a provision of at least 80 per cent affordable housing’.

Following last year’s initial invitation by councillors for Shire landowners to propose their land as affordable-housing projects, Saddle Road landowner Kelvin Daly proposed the Brunswick Eco Village (BEV), located on the northern end of the precinct. Then later, a planning proposal for most of the ridgeline was submitted (Area 17), and included a promise to allocate 20 per cent of the land to affordable-housing projects.

Yet the proposal falls outside strategic planning and is resisted by other landowners who want to maintain their rural amenity.

‘Terrible blow’: BEV’s Kelvin Daly . Photo Jeff Dawson

Terrible blow

Daly later told The Echo, ‘This has come as a terrible blow to BEV and its collaborative neighbours, as they were responding to a request from Council to submit the Planning Proposal after the creation of Area 17 and following that process, in good faith.’

‘The request of the state government for Council to focus on completing the Residential Strategy will now mean that these offers are suspended and their potential to deliver affordable housing unclear.’

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  1. Creation of another suburb is unfortunate for many landowners directly affected.
    However, it makes a lot more sense to put more housing in Saddle Road then in
    the middle of environmentally sensitive lowland near chocked and congested Byron Bay.

    How does West Byron get through while something like this doesn’t?

    Byron Shire needs more housing. Bearing in mind that our rural land has to be maintained for future generations, a well planned satellite village in the hinterland seems like a preferable solution.


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