Byron’s Butler St Reserve will be spared from major commercial development after Council voted to take this option off the table.
Considerable debate and controversy had surrounded what would happen to the former landfill site after the construction of the Byron Bypass.
Council had previously discussed the possibility of building a three-storey carpark there to accommodate traffic coming into town via the new road.
However, at Thursday’s council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to retain the reserve for ‘passive recreation, ground parking and community uses including markets’.
It also voted to ‘remove the option of an expansion of the 3-storey commercial zone from the consideration of the future use or zoning of the Butler St Reserve site’.
‘There’s no way in hell we’re going to build a three-storey carpark on that site,’ Byron Mayor Simon Richardson said.
‘We didn’t realise until recently how much contamination there was on that site.’
Council’s Manager of Assets and Major Projects, Phil Warner said preliminary investigations of the site had found that the council could go forward with surface activities, though even this would require further monitoring.
‘Any option [involving work] that goes beneath the surface is very costly,’ Mr Warner said.
‘When remediation was considered by Transport NSW it was found to be very, very costly because it’s on a former landfill.
‘The investigation we’re currently determining is the extent of that landfill.’