10.1 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Call to curtail growth plans for Byron Shire

Latest News

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Other News

Flickerfest tour returns to the Northern Rivers

Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Flickerfest is bringing its National Tour to The Regent Cinema Murwillumbah for one big film packed this weekend

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Exotic and hybrid

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange. As...

It’s D-Day for Byron’s Marvell Street DA

Will a controversial hotel development in central Byron that exceeds both height and floor space limits be given conditional approval at this week’s Byron Council meeting?

Aslan Shand

Community groups have commended Byron Shire Council staff for incorporating many of the community’s concerns and wishes into the Draft (Urban) Residential Strategy released recently. President of Community Alliance for Byron Shire  (CABS) Mathew O’Reilly and Brunswick Heads Progress Association member Patricia Warren are among those welcoming staff efforts.

However, the impacts of intense growth on infrastructure and communities have led to a call from Ballina MP Tamara Smith ‘to reduce the designated dwelling requirements for Byron Shire in the North Coast Regional Plan and ensure that Byron Shire is exempt from the proposed Low Rise Medium Density Code’.

Former Byron mayor Jan Barham supports the call, pointing out that the 25-year Far North Coast Strategy developed in 2006 defined Byron Shire’s additional dwelling requirement at 2,600 by 2031. Eighty-one per cent of that housing allocation had been filled by 2011, leading to the additional allocation of 3,150 new dwellings in the 2016–2036 Regional Plan for Byron Shire, meaning there will be an extra 5,620 dwellings above the 2006 level.

‘Effectively the state government has doubled our dwelling allocation since 2006 but not analysed the infrastructure and other constraints and impacts,’ said Ms Barham.

‘The Draft Byron Residential Strategy fails to analyse the infrastructure feasibility of meeting the dwelling allocation targets that are prescribed in the North Coast Regional Plan.

‘Prior to adopting this strategy Council must consider the infrastructure capabilities for growth. There are major concerns about the ability for upgrade of sewerage plants, water capabilities, and road networks to meet growth requirements set by the state.

‘It would be irresponsible to plan growth that’s impossible to meet sustainably owing to infrastructure limitations.’

Mr O’Reilly has also highlighted concerns over the potential development of land next to Mullumbimby, saying that while this ‘is low-hanging fruit that can achieve housing results in the short term without huge new infrastructure expenditure, the elephant in the room… is climate change, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events.

‘Building on floodplains under these conditions does not seem like a wise idea.

‘The alternative long-term solution that Byron Shire and most of Australia will need to embrace is planned retreat,’ he said. ‘Planning for new population centres above rising sea levels will become a necessity rather than an option in future years.’

The value of Byron Shire as an iconic tourism destination, the concern that new residential housing will just become more short-term holiday letting, adding to infrastructure and community integrity issues, has led MP Tamara Smith to call for a one- to two-year pause on residential development in Byron Shire.

‘Byron Shire plays an important role for the state with its iconic tourism destination status,’ she said. ‘This needs to be considered in regional growth targets; it’s unacceptable to demand additional dwelling growth that may impact on the attraction and feasibility of both residential amenity and tourism.

‘Increased development will add pressure on already stressed infrastructure but will also change the character of the area and  may impact on the tourism desirability,’ she said.

‘What we need is a complete pause on residential development for 1–2 years while we sort out how to pay for the roads and parks and amenities that we currently need, let alone future growth.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Business calls for Tweed train tracks to be kept ignored

More than 800 people had signed a petition calling for a new rail trail to be built next to, rather than in place of, the existing disused railway line running through the shire.

Resilient communities training on offer

‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword in Australia over the past few years, as communities across the country struggle to cope with fire, floods, and a pandemic.

Independent councillor fact-checks housing supply in the Byron Shire

Independent Byron Shire Councillor Cate Coorey won approval from fellow councillors last week for a new reporting regime she says will offer clarification on dwellings approved in the shire.

How to exercise more voting rights in council elections

Being a property owner in NSW isn’t just a financial advantage, it also means you have more rights to vote than non-property owners.