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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Draft Masterplan creates a new vision for Mullumbimby

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A sizeable area of land on the southern edge of Mullumbimby would become home to scores of new houses if a draft masterplan for the town was adopted in its current form.

The community will have its first clear look at Byron Council’s plans for the future of the town when the masterplan comes before Byron Council’s weekly planning meeting for discussion and debate this Thursday.

The area slated for new housing in the draft Mullumbimby Masterplan/ Image Byron Council

The blueprint, developed in consultation with a group of local community representatives, predicts that Mullumbimby’s population will grow significantly in the coming years.

‘Growth seems inevitable unless the town wishes to force out many of those who currently call Mullum home, but will need to be tempered with definitive urban edges and through a retention of Mullumbimby’s ‘country town feel’ and unique character,’ the Masterplan states.

This would require a significant increase in housing which, according to the plan’s authors, must ‘embrace those on lower incomes through new land close to town’.

Much of this would be located in an area known as ‘Precinct 4 – South Mullumbimby’ which runs in a rough band from the Mullumbimby Golf Club right around the Southern edge of the town to Anne Street near the town’s eastern entrance.

‘South Mullumbimby is well-placed to handle much of the future housing growth of the town and the region,’ the Masterplan states.

‘It is well connected to the town, and has capacity to provide a diversity of dwellings close to services.’

‘It will be vital that any new development in this area is sensitive to the existing character and values of the town.’

Other areas of land slated for development are the areas next to the rail corridor, infill development in the laneways and shop-top housing in the centre of town.

Mullumbimby’s central thoroughfare, Burringbar Street, is also set for a significant transformation, should the masterplan be adopted.

The plan’s author’s envisage turning the road into a ‘Talking Street’ – a shared, pedestrian and bike-friendly zone with far fewer car movements.

This would be assisted by formalising the alternate vehicle routes around the town – Tincogan and Fern streets – which many use already.

In a related move, Stuart Street would become the town’s Green Spine – a boulevard that acts as the primary town centre walking/cycling route, linking the river to the community gardens.

Other proposals include a series of placemaking seed projects in the Town Centre funded through Council and state government grants, and increasing density in the town’s business areas.

They key challenges that are identified as facing the town are housing affordability, climate change and traffic congestion and the divergent views of local residents.

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  1. Be vary wary – the ‘nice’ stuff may never happen, but the development will. If you want an example of Cl’s skewed Masterplans see the Byron Bay Masterplan documents box on the Brixton Market example. It states it is a successful regeneration project. Ive been going to the Brixton Market since the 70’s – it is a lower socioeconomic area of mainly Caribbean and Indian people, and the market used to be reflective of and service them. The area has now been ‘discovered’ by investors and when I went to the market in 2015 the only black face in the now ‘trendy’ market was a cleaner- and the byron masterplan calls this a successful regeneration. And not the Cl Motion suggests that the Byron Masterplan have a rep on the Mullum Masterplan committee – for a heads up to get noses into the development trough?

  2. JL is right: be careful, Mullum may not get it all.
    Also, having been a Professional Engineer in the ‘development’ field for 20 years and having watched this and other State Governments release areas for development, I am worried. The two dimensional details might be ok BUT how much of the ‘release area’ is flood prone; i.e. within the 1%ARI affected area?
    These state governments have released areas in the past, then the Local Government authority (council) has to try to deal with the consequences. Once the area is rezoned, this is VERY difficult to do effectively.


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