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Byron Shire
May 30, 2023

Byron Council’s DA for preschool riles neighbour

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A Suffolk Park resident has told Echonetdaily that Council’s plans to ‘double the capacity’ of a neighbouring preschool come with inadequate privacy or noise abatement measures.

Beech Drive resident Bruce Peters claims issues arose when Council built the preschool behind his home around six years ago.

He said, ‘I viewed the advertised DA [at the time] and it specified a ‘single-storey building’. [The DA] failed to disclose, however, that the single storey was going to be built on an elevated platform’.

‘The advertised DA that I viewed also had a row of trees along the fence line on the preschool side of the fence, which were never planted. And now Council say it never existed on the original plan. 

‘When I enquired about the lack of trees after the final Council DA was signed off by Council, the response I got was, as the plan had been signed off, “what you see is what you get”.’

‘This year, Council seeks to double the capacity of the preschool and remove a tree, and again there is nothing in the DA about planting for privacy or noise abatement… just the opposite, if you view the site plan. It refers to “existing dense screen planting on adjoining property” which does not exist. 

Tree removal

‘For a council that promotes the environment and harmony, it’s a wonder that the DA seeks to remove a tree, yet is silent on planting any trees.

‘Further, a noise study was commissioned six years ago, which proved to be not worth the paper it’s printed on. Trucks arrive early in the morning with deliveries to the preschool prior to dawn, with refrigeration units disturbing the peace. 

‘In the new plan, a play yard will be built right behind our house and no plan for noise reduction exists in the proposed DA’.

Council staff were asked to comment and did not refute the claims. Instead they replied, ‘The development application for an extension to the Byron Bay Preschool at Suffolk Park was on exhibition from 11 April 2019 to 1 May 2019 and Council staff are now reviewing the DA and will take into account all submissions and issues raised. The DA will be reported to Council.

‘Community-based, not-for-profit preschools like the Byron Bay Preschool play an important part in early childhood education in the Byron Shire and there is great demand for these services, which are provided by Council and managed by parent committees’. 

Frustrated by Council’s ‘lack of procedural fairness’ with DAs, Peters erected a sign on his roof which reads ‘If you can read this sign it’s because Byron Shire Council doesn’t care about our privacy or noise reduction.’

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  1. Understand your frustration Peter.Best case scenario,a young couple might buy your property for a reasonable price.The area is being opened up for new development all the time and this is part of “progress”.
    Nothing green about it.Slowly nature is pushed back and people, geraniums and bike paths,more bitumen adorn the landscape.

  2. With a child at the preschool, I can’t see why refrigeration trucks would be making deliveries. The kids bring all their lunch with them.

  3. I seem to remember the preschool was designated on that site when the estate was developed when it went from cow paddocks that I used to play on. Due diligence and buyer beware. Same dum argument as those that buy next to rail tracks. Wake up and take some responsibly for your actions.


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