Byron Council received and exhibited a development application (DA) for Barrio restaurant in the Habitat complex in Byron Bay seeking an extension to the DA to clarify what proportion of seating would be allowed in the outside seating area.
But nearby residents say the DA will ‘nearly double the licensed area of Barrio Restaurant and Bar’ and increase noise from the restaurant as well as provide for extra vehicle delivery hours.
Residents say they lost confidence in the modelling when it said that the sound of bottles from commercial dumpsters being emptied less than 50m from bedroom windows early in the morning would comply with EPA standards.
Responding to residents’ claims, Brandon Saul from Habitat says they are not seeking to double the licensed area but to clarify how many people they can have seated in the courtyard. He told Echonetdaily the original DA allowed for 216 patrons and they are not seeking to vary that capacity.
‘It will simply provide clarity as to how many of those patrons are allowed to sit in the courtyard. While the original DA clearly indicated there would be seating in the courtyard, it was moot as to what proportion of the permitted capacity could sit inside versus out,’ he said.
Noise still an issue
But residents represented by the Bayshore Apartments Owners Corporation say the ‘DA relies on noise modelling, which residents say is incomplete and lacks credibility.’
Acknowledging the issues of noise raised by the residents last year Mr Saul said Barrio have installed what they believe is a permanent fix to the problem that is in excess of the requirements for the 216 patrons that could be in the courtyard at any time under the new DA application.
‘The acoustic consultants estimate that the courtyard area could now hold over 1,000 patrons and still comply with the specified noise limits,’ said Mr Saul.
‘The noise mitigation measures were tested and deemed successful and compliant. The tests were reviewed and accepted by Council.’
Mr Saul said they have also proposed to ‘“flip” the entry direction so that delivery vehicles enter the loading dock from the internal courtyard. ‘Our acoustic modelling shows that this will allow delivery vehicles to stop in a shielded standing area (farther away from the neighbours) enabling Barrio to comply with the specified noise limits,’ he said.
A spokespeson for Byron Shire Council said it received submissions raising the issue of ‘noise and amenity.’
‘Staff will now assess the DA, taking into account any concerns raised including noise and impact on the amenity of surrounding neighbours and the built environment,’ they said.