Ben Fawcett, Wilsons Creek
It is shocking to consider how many of the more than 700 development applications (DA) submitted each year to Byron Council may be approved by the planning bureaucrats, which contravene their carefully considered guidelines.
Take the example of a proposed ‘rural tourist cabin’ development in Wilsons Creek. This DA is for six cabins, four to be built, with a large pool and entertainment area, on a steep, south-facing slope, next to a power-line and accessed by a rough, narrow, dangerous gravel road via a new, second driveway which will seriously affect neighbours.
The property is located in a sound-bowl which transmits any sounds over hundreds of metres. In my opinion, on all of these points the DA contravenes development guidelines.
Council’s planners have considered it three times since submission, more than a year ago, recommending it for approval every time.
Every one of the fourteen properties surrounding the applicant property has made multiple opposing submissions, with advice from lawyers and planners, but still it is coming back to Council on 21 November, recommended for approval by the bureaucrats after a ‘review’ of councillors’ decision to refuse in August.
We all evacuated this week due to bush fires. Do we want to bring tourists to a vulnerable zone with terrible water shortages?
I represent the neighbours and trust that councillors will refuse the DA once again.