The State Significant application for a permanent home for music, arts and cultural events in northern NSW by North Byron Parklands, home to Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, has been referred to independent Planning Commission (IPC) for final determination.
A public meeting is planned for Monday December 10 at the Ocean Shores Community Centre from 10.30am.
Parklands general manager Mat Morris said their application is ‘very comprehensive, based on five years of venue performance data, and has significant technical and expert reports included.’
But the Byron Residents Group (BRG) have echoed concerns made previously by police regarding effective evacuation and are concerned at the recommendation for a ‘staged’ increase to 50,000 attendees per day.
In a press release, BRG say, ‘Splendour and Falls festivals are majority owned by international corporation Live Nation, who are under investigation by the US Department of Justice for serious violations of anti-trust laws.’
‘The site is in the last major wildlife corridor connecting the World Heritage Wollumbin hinterland rainforest with the coastal lowland forests. This is one of NSW’s most biologically diverse localities with more than 50 threatened species in the locality of the festival site.
‘Yet again the NSW government is to decide what happens in our Shire irrespective of the consequences.’
The police submission for the application reads, ‘The increase in occupancy to 42,500 patrons will only be supported by NSWPF when the proposals and recommendations in the Response to Submissions Report (RTS) relating to such an increase are implemented and able to be assessed against the increase in occupancy.’
An ad placed in local newspapers claims the IPC wants to ‘hear from as many people as possible.’
The Echo asked the IPC why the meeting wasn’t organised for a weekend or after hours, to ensure as ‘many people as possible’ were able to participate?
A spokesperson replied, ‘We understand that not everyone who wants to have their say on this proposal will be able to make it to our public meeting. That’s why we provide the option for interested individuals and groups to send us their written comments. All submissions, both spoken and written, will be carefully considered by the Commission as part of its decision-making process. The deadline for written comments is Monday December 17.’
NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) has published their assessment of the application. It can be found at https://bit.ly/2BCjiG1.