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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Wilsons Creek holiday cabin DA approved

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Paul Bibby

A contentious holiday cabin development in Wilsons Creek will go ahead after securing approval from Byron Council, but with a significant reduction in size from what was originally proposed.

The plan to build six one-bedroom cabins on a property at 58 Montecollum Road was approved by a vote of nine to one at last Thursday’s Council planning meeting, much to the chagrin of the Wilsons Creek residents who had gathered in the chambers to oppose the plan.

A group of placard-carrying Wilsons Creek residents opposing plans for tourist accommodation in the town attended Byron Council’s planning meeting on August 15 Image: Paul Bibby.

Greens councillor Michael Lyon said he was ‘not a fan of these types of developments,’ but that Council’s hands were tied.

‘There are legal requirements that we have to meet – rules that are presented to us that we have to abide by,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘If this went to court, we would lose. 

‘That would cost us a fair bit of money and the original development would be back on the table without the road upgrade works that we’ve secured’.

After Council refused the DA in August, the property owner Shahar Yishay sought a review and agreed to a reduction in the size and scale of the development. 

This included reducing the number of cabins from eight to six, reducing the size of the proposed swimming pool, and removing a proposed pool terrace on the eastern side of the development.

A number of further conditions were imposed on the development at last week’s meeting, including upgrading a number of nearby road junctions, further limiting the hours of use for the pool, and tougher restrictions on noise levels.

However, residents living in the vicinity of the properties remained opposed. 

During the public access section of the meeting, neighbour Ben Fawcett said the proposed development was built on the face of a natural amphitheatre.

‘Some residents can already hear conversation that takes place on the property owing to the natural layout of the land,’ Mr Fawcett said.

‘If you factor in up to 12 people, some of them using the pool, others outside, the potential impact on surrounding residences is very great.’

Councillor Sarah Ndiaye agreed, and was the only councillor to vote against the proposal.

‘The devastating part of this is what’s happened to a previously cohesive part of our community,’ Cr Ndiaye said.

‘I hope that now [with the matter determined] we can start to heal that.

‘It’s challenging and I really hope that that can be taken on board.’

The remaining councillors voted in favour, paving the way for construction to begin on the property within months. 

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