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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Massive two-storey to block sun, impose over neighbours

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Emily’s objection was one of many sent to Byron Shire Council staff.

Mullumbimby residents have been shocked to learn that a large two-storey home was approved by Byron Shire Council staff despite it breaching Council’s own planning guidelines.

A 28-signature opposing petition, and submissions against by every adjoining neighbour, were submitted to staff. Residents say their concerns were largely ignored.

Affected resident Mat Gulliford claims the process lacked transparency; he was not notified of the DA in the first place, nor was he able to view or contribute to conditions such as privacy.

The large home at 29 Corella Cres was approved by staff last week, despite it breaching Council’s height plane limit and blocking solar access to the southern property.

Staff told another affected neighbour they have discretionary powers to approve or reject DAs regardless of united opposition or lack of adherance to their own planning policies. 

Mat Gulliford told The Echo, ‘While I am aware that Council’s planning department is extremely busy, there seems to have been an overall lack of transparency and poor communication regarding some of the specific details of the DA that directly affect the adjoining neighbours.’

‘We would like Council to review the plans with more careful consideration of all the factors that have been presented in objections from those directly affected by the development.

‘After residents met with the planner assessing the DA, an amended DA was presented that demonstrated solar access would be blocked for the southern neighbour. Additionally the height plane limit still exceeded Council’s DCP.

‘We don’t know the exact amount the height plane limit has exceeded as the planner’s manager won’t release the plans for us to check.

‘As privacy is the main issue, the planner requested long-term screens are put on the balcony facing us.’

Gulliford said the conversation with the planner was ‘vague’ regarding privacy.

‘If the house is built, we wish to negotiate these privacy screenings in more detail. We have not been notified of any specific conditions regarding privacy or had the opportunity to discuss how any particular privacy conditions would impact on our property since this conversation.’

He added that property owners on Corella who face the park were not allowed to build two-storey houses. ‘We bought our houses not knowing that Council would all of a sudden allow two-storey houses to build behind us in the new land release.’

The DA applicants Sally and Andrew Scott have been contacted for comment.

Neighbours have told The Echo that attempts to meet to discuss concerns with them were unsuccessful.

The Echo’s editor is an impacted neighbour.

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  1. What? You can build a house that blocks a neighbour’s solar access? That breaches council’s own guidelines. That’s appalling.

  2. Is this a serious sentence:
    “Mullumbimby residents have been shocked to learn that a large two-storey home was approved by Byron Shire Council staff despite it breaching Council’s own planning guidelines.”

    The guidelines, why are they put there?
    If they are guidelines what is the use of them if you can open the window and throw them out that window, never to be seen again?
    So guidelines are more like LAWS.
    They are LAWS, not guidelines
    And when they are laws, any DA flouting those laws cannot be approved.
    What is the use of a guideline if you can scribble over it?
    Tell me that Council as I am shocked.

  3. ”Fake News….Real News…..No wait Shocking News!!!!
    “Byron Shire Council staff approve large two-storey home despite it breaching Council’s own planning guidelines”

  4. Wow, this is joy to developers and people with deep pockets’ ears “Staff told another affected neighbour they have discretionary powers to approve or reject DAs regardless of united opposition or lack of adherence to their own planning policies.”
    How fantastic is this the NEW era of developers, let’s hope it is not a multistorey building as it might end up like the one at Olympic Park.

  5. COUNCIL IGNORES GUIDELINES TO ALLOW MASSIVE TWO STOREY: Well, what’s new? Council’s don’t care about residents; the Council down on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria allowed people to build below our (former) house to one metre from the back fence and it spoiled out sea and city view. Up here in Brisbane, the Council’s all pro-development, but ask it to address the Enoggera Creek breaking its banks and flooding back yards of heritage houses in the inner suburb of Herston, and they’ll tell you they have no plan to address it (which I found out via the Greens councillor on the other side of the river in South Brisbane). I’d be wanting to know who owns the property that the Council has approved, I’d be wanting to know who approved the property, what political party they’re in, which lobbyists councillors know and anything else. Something don’t smell good in Byron Shire Council and it aint rotting fish. JOHN DOBINSON, HERSTON, BRISBANE

  6. There is a similar problem happening in Bayshore Lane in Sunrise. Six Two storey houses are being built a metre from Bayshore lane that have second story balcony’s that look directly into residents bathrooms and bedrooms directly affecting their privacy. How were they approved?

  7. The main point that people seem to be missing here is that Council employees now have the “lawful” power to make decisions that were until recently the responsibility of an ELECTED Council.
    So, people, if you’re looking for culprits, blame the Coalition State government for subverting your democracy. And vote accordingly on the 23rd of March!

  8. Council and the Planning staff are risk averse. They don’t follow guidelines and DON’T listen to the concerns of the permanent residents. Shame on you Planning staff. I hope each of you get a multi story ugly building right next to your own home. Then you will know how residents feel because of your poorly thought decisions.


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