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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Eco Village proposal back on council agenda

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Area 17 on Saddle Road. While the plan to rezone the entire area was canned by council, it is now looking at other ways to allow an eco village to develop. Image supplied

An eco-village proposal near the Brunswick Heads highway interchange at Saddle Road is back on the table after councillors voted last Thursday to include it within the Rural Land Use Strategy.

The Brunswick Eco Village (BEV) proposal was initially pegged on land owned by Kelvin Daly, but later, plans were expanded to include surrounding lands and a commitment for 20 per cent affordable housing.

Yet the proposal appears to have landowners on the ridgeline divided, and Council eventually rejected the larger proposal.    

Last Thursday’s lastminute inclusion was headed by Cr Paul Spooner (Labor).

He told The Echo the resolution removed the BEV proposal from consideration within the draft Residential Strategy.

‘This was undertaken following advice from the Department of Planning that it would not be supported as it was not in an urban area.

‘To maintain it there would have effectively stopped it from being considered. A very poor outcome for our community.

‘The decision on Thursday proposes an amendment within the Rural Land Use Strategy to allow the land to be considered as an ‘intentional eco-community’ providing at least 80 per cent affordable housing.

‘This supports Council’s strategic planning. It allows the provision of affordable housing where there is none. It supports the intention of responding to the housing needs of residents and workers.

‘A very big win for our community.

‘What has been agreed to on Thursday opens up a clear planning pathway but does not ensure the proposal will succeed.

‘This will be determined when a planning proposal is submitted by the applicant and assessed by Council according to the Rural Land Use Strategy that requires it be amended and supported by the Department of Planning.’

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  1. I am disgusted with the way this Council decides our future growth based on ad-hoc decisions and piecemeal developments. Since 2006 Council has been required to prepare a holistic Growth Management Strategy that identifies how we meet our growth targets with 5 and 10 year staging plans. The 2006 Far North Coast Regional Strategy established a target for Byron Shire of 2,600 dwellings until 2031, a growth rate of 104 dwellings per annum. Since then we have been growing at well beyond this rate, and the faster we grow the faster we are expected to grow, with our growth targets increased in 2011. Last year 404 new dwellings were approved, still well in excess of the revised targets. With West Byron, and the allowance of secondary dwellings throughout the shire in the name of affordable housing, we already have more than enough land zoned for development. Now Council is intent on imposing a new development upon us. It is well past time to prepare a Growth Management Strategy for the whole shire to give residents a say on our future growth.

    • Dailan,
      And for every dwelling there is a potential of two cars per dwelling.
      And what is near at the top of the list in complaints against Council, potholes in the roads and traffic jams.

  2. And Cr Spooner is setting up his own private “affordable housing” development business, his development Amendment wouldnt have anything to do with that , would it?

  3. All politics and private wealth issues aside,

    Why not PLAN a village in a sustainable location? If we must have population and economic growth than this is certainly a better location than the Byron Bay wetlands (West Byron Swamp).


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