Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay
Despite Ben Franklin and Premier Gladys Berejiklian admitting (Echo August 22) that their government’s rezoning of West Byron resulted in a ‘scale of that development is beyond what the community’s expectations are’, that is ‘too big to impose on the community’, Ben’s only solution (Echo 6 February) is more infrastructure.
Since well before this government decided in 2014 to ignore community opposition and insert a piece of western Sydney into Byron Shire’s Local Environment Plan, at higher densities than the landowners requested, their mantra has been that it is for affordable housing and that they will fund the bypass.
No-one believes that West Byron will deliver affordable housing, and Ben’s government placed no constraints upon the development to do so.
The developer’s estimate is that there will be a 66 per cent increase in traffic on Ewingsdale Road from West Byron, and yet the bypass will only result in the diversion of some 7–20 per cent of existing traffic around town, most likely 10–15 per cent.
Ben has promised $9.5m for the bypass (it could cost more). This money would be more effective in addressing traffic impacts if it went into reducing the impact of West Byron by reducing the scale of the development by buybacks and/or rezoning.
The National Party created this mess and they need to propose a solution that significantly reduces the scale of West Byron, as well as its massive impacts on koalas, Wallum Sedge Frogs and the Belongil estuary.