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Dear GM

Jim Beatson, Byron Bay

I am calling on you as the general manager (GM) of Byron Shire Council (BSC) to review the workload and competency of planning and infrastructure staff. Apparently, staff reports fail to understand and act on the priorities set by Byron Shire councillors or community.

Since July: 1. BSC failed to have its two Council representatives attend the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) meeting to determine the Development Application (DA) for alleged private medical rooms on the intersection of Ewingsdale Road and McGettigans Lane. This was later approved by the JRPP.

2. The DA proposal on the corner Jonson and Browning Sts: planning staff’s report to the JRPP on this four-storey development recommended ‘approval’. During the meeting the JRPP members discussed the inadequate quality of the work undertaken by Council’s planning staff and lack of community consultation. The JRPP then refused the DA.

3.  Two West Byron DAs: Council staff accepted late applications from developers, leading to the matter’s being deferred.

4. Rezoning West Byron: staff’s proposed rezoning of West Byron fails. There is permission for over 1,000 dwellings and traffic and water issues remain unresolved. It ignores the proposed 20m setback from Ewingsdale Road. Deletes many current E-zones. The area reserved for koalas is reduced for more housing and fails to maximise retention of existing core koala habitat. It fails to meet the need to buffer the western Wallum sedge frog. Fails to protect coastal wetlands. Fails to limit development in flood-prone areas and SEPP wetland buffers.

Why do I pay rates only to have professional staff appear to act against the direction of Councillors the responses of community?


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