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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Byron Council’s ‘significant concerns’ over holiday letting laws

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The state government’s controversial holiday letting laws will be tabled at this Thursday’s Byron Shire Council meeting, with staff suggesting councillors ‘Write (again) to the minister for planning to seek an urgent meeting to request a deferral of Byron Shire from the new state-wide planning rules (pause to implementation).’

Staff say the pause is ‘necessary to enable a full consideration of the current impact of […] the proposed planning rule changes.’

They say short-term rental accommodation in Byron Shire will have environmental, social and economic impacts.

The NSW Department of Planning’s Short Term Rental Accommodation Planning Framework has been criticised for the potential burden it would place on councils in regards to enforcement.

A ‘lack of [a] coherent registration system’ has also been flagged by staff, along with the ‘absence of a Code of Conduct to inform the planning rules.’

The staff report also says the definition of ‘short-term rental accommodation’ and ‘exempt and complying criteria’ is ambiguous.

There are also ‘conflicts with other state government policy initiatives to address housing affordability, local character and place planning and needs [a] review.’

Staff suggest that there be a ‘local exception to the planning rules for Byron Shire through either a statewide planning policy schedule or Byron local environmental plan (LEP) amendment.’

This would include ‘a reduction in the number of days that short-term rental accommodation is permissible from 365 days to 90 days (not 180 days),’ and the requirement on the owner or manager of a  short-term rental property ‘to register on a Byron Shire Council Short Term Rental Accommodation Register.’

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  1. I wish the Byron Shire Council good luck! Unless the council can effectively regulate short term letting, there may as well be no state regulations and guidelines. This is unacceptable due to the current scale and negative impacts of short term letting, particularly in streets, such as mine, where houses have been bought, and built from scratch, solely for the purposes of holiday letting. These are owners with scant interest in the amenity of the neighborhood, and no interest in a fair go for local residents who rely on the rental market.

  2. Apart from the efforts of a couple of councillors there has been little will shown by this Council and historically to put some rein on the scourge of STHL. The posturing concern now to regain some legal justification is a bit of a joke.

    Simultaneously we are having meetings to discuss how Council will ‘manage’ events (via soon to be Council egalised function centres) in rural zones!


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