Locals have expressed concern about a $3m hotel and retail development proposed for Marvell Street Byron Bay, saying a lack of sufficient parking will place extra pressure on the town’s already-crowded streets.
The owner of 7 Marvell Street is proposing to demolish the fibro and timber house on the property and replace it with a three-storey building made up of 29 one and two-bedroom hotel rooms, a swimming pool, health spa and shops.
The proposal is smaller than what was previously put forward by the developer, with the number of hotel rooms being reduced from 32 to 29, and the basement carpark being reduced from two levels to one.
The development application is also outside the existing rules for both height and floor space ratio.
It relies on proposed changes to development regulations for Byron’s town centre that have not yet been formally adopted by Council.
The Development Application (DA) states that getting rid of the basement carpark will reduce the environmental impact of the proposal because it will mean less disturbance of ground water and the acid sulphate soils that exist in that part of the town.
It will also mean a reduction in noise, dust, vibration and truck movements associated with excavation.
Lacks car parking
However, some locals are concerned that reducing the amount of parking on the site will mean that guests will have to park in the already-crowded surrounding streets and carparks.
‘If this is approved, you’re basically going to end up with a situation where there are just a handful of car parking spaces catering to 29 one and two-bedroom hotel rooms,’ the manager of a local accommodation provider said.
‘The guests are going to end up taking spots from businesses and others.
‘I realise Byron Council is trying to reduce the number of cars in town, but I think there’s a responsibility to provide sufficient parking for new developments.’
The DA for the site says that it will provide guests with ‘alternative, greener transport options’ including the shared use of two electric vehicles and six bikes.
However, the manager of the local accommodation provider said she did not believe providing these options would significantly reduce the number of cars.
‘I really can’t see guests coming to this hotel without cars. Are they really going to get a bus to the Cavanbah Centre and then ride their bikes with their big suitcases strapped to their backs?
‘I think it’s much more likely that they’ll at least want to drive into town.’
Council is expected to make a decision on the proposal in the New Year.