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September 16, 2021

Byron rec grounds plan sparks complaints – again

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Byron Bay Rec Grounds. Photo byron4kids.com

A plan to change the zoning/use of the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Grounds on Tennyson Street is again being met with anger from residents and users.

It’s now up to version six, and like previous drafts, there is no mention of why the previous plans were rejected or what consultation occurred with user groups.

The draft plan is now on public exhibition, with submissions closing April 23 at 4pm.

Public hearing April 24

As required when altering the categorisation of any Council-managed land, Council staff will be holding a public hearing on April 24 from 3pm at the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road.

On page 23, the draft plan of management ‘expressly authorises’ development on the Byron Bay Memorial Recreation Ground including: ‘commercial use (for example but not limited to markets, filming, events, cinema, outdoor/indoor entertainment, gymnasium, primitive camping, training camps etc).’

Such authorisation would allow the development ‘Anywhere on the… grounds 24/7, under or above ground and/or of a size, scale, and intensity that is permitted by planning instruments or other laws applying at the time.’

No estimates of costs for the authorised developments are including in the document.

A resident contacted Echonetdaily and said, ‘Council sees the rec ground as a commodity to sell or develop for other than sporting use. They’ve got it wrong and need to know loudly’.

The draft plan says: ‘Demands on local government and community needs are changing increasingly fast… Implementing Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan and Byron Shire Community Strategic Plan actions are also important governance outcomes for Council and the community’. 

Council’s manager Open Space and Resource Recovery Michael Matthews told Echonetdaily there was ‘extensive consultation throughout the development’ of the draft PoM for the Byron recreation grounds.

He said, ‘In this draft PoM, the sports playing fields (or surfaces) are catergorised as sportsgrounds and the feedback we have had from sporting groups is that they are very happy with this,’ Mr Matthews said.

‘I have had no negative feedback from sporting groups about the draft PoM,’ he added.

Those wishing to make a verbal or written submission at the April 24 hearing can register by calling Darren McAllister 6626 7244.

Submissions can be made to [email protected]

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