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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Contentious Bruns DA deferred

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The residents of Short St, Brunswick Heads are breathing a little easier today after Byron Council voted to defer a proposal for a large dual occupancy development in their neighbourhood.

The owner of 16 Short Street – a Melbourne-based property developer – is seeking permission to demolish the existing single-storey cottage on the site and replace it with two large, double-storey houses, each with five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

A proposal for Short Street in Brunswick Heads has been met with unified opposition from nearby residents and the Brunswick Heads Progress Association. Image from DA.

The development application came before council’s planning meeting on Thursday accompanied by a recommendation from staff that it be approved on the grounds that it met all relevant planning rules.

However, there have also been 135 letters of objection from nearby residents who say it is completely out of character with the surrounding dwellings owing to its size, which exceeds height plane rules for that part of town.

They also say the development is not two ‘family homes’ as claimed by the Melbourne-based developer, but will in fact become a quasi boarding house or ‘Airbnb motel’.

On Thursday, councillors unanimously supported a motion from Cr Sarah Ndiaye to defer the application until staff had given further consideration to a number of concerning aspects of the proposal.

These include the building height plane exceedance, the absence of information about the potential overshadowing of adjoining properties, and the possibility that the houses will be used for holiday letting.

‘Unfortunately we don’t get to choose the design of developments that come before council, but in this case there are certain aspects which need more consideration,’ Cr Sarah Ndiaye said.

‘I can’t see any other reason [for the areas of exceedance in the DA] other than the developer saying ‘we want it bigger’.’

‘That part of Brunswick Heads will become different no matter what. We can’t stop that from happening. But this particular DA has some areas of concern.’

A development application for a much smaller dual occupancy dwelling proposed to be built next door at 14 Short Street was passed unanimously by councillors without discussion or debate.

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