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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Brewery/childcare centre DA fails objectives: residents

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Remember the plan for a combined koala hospital and brewery in Bangalow? Well, it’s back – sort of.

Having withdrawn the first development application (DA) for the site on Pioneers Crescent, the owner of the 39-hectare property has come up with a new plan for the location. The cuddly koalas are gone but the brewery remains. 

And there’s now a childcare centre.

The $2.97m proposal, put forward by town planning firm Ardill Payne & Partners, includes a 1,012 sqm long-daycare centre for up to 100 children, a recreational facility comprising two pools and a gym, a brewery, and a retail garden centre with ancillary kitchen/bar/dining area.

The previous plan for a koala hospital was abandoned following the expression of strong reservations by local wildlife groups who said that it would not assist the local koala population.

It appears the revised DA is still drawing significant objections from sections of the Bangalow community.

President of the Bangalow Progress Association, Ian Holmes, said the proposal did not achieve any of the objectives set out in the planning rules for land with an RU2 rural zoning.

This included maintaining the rural landscape character of the area, protecting the scenic landscape of the site, and ensuring sustainable primary industry.

‘From the community’s point of view, this is agricultural land and it should be protected,’ Mr Holmes said.

He also said the development was not in keeping with the Bangalow Village Plan, which was developed by community representatives.

‘We’re basically one of the few remaining areas that is a contained rural village,’ he said. ‘The community wants to preserve that. If we find that we have pools and gyms and breweries on one of the town’s signature hills then that entire premise is dismantled.’

Developer declines to comment

‘This development would be a total game changer and would effectively blow up the village plan.’

The owner of the property, Lewis Haigh, declined to comment, as did town planners Ardill Payne and Partners, who produced the development application.

However, the Statement of Environmental Effects provided as part of the application states that the development was consistent with the objectives of the RU2 zoning and ‘other applicable planning instruments and the Byron DCP’.

‘The subject land is considered appropriate and conducive to the proposed variety of rural land uses…’

‘It is considered that the development will not result in any land use conflicts and will won’t have any adverse impacts on the natural or man made environment.’

‘The development… will have a cumulative positive impact on the environment owing to the implementation of habitat restoration and landscaping.’

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