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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Future of Mullum still struggles with flooding

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

The Mullumbimby Masterplan (MMP) is up for adoption at Thursday’s Byron Shire Council meeting, and while there are a range of positive proposals, there are some contentious issues still surrounding it.

The ideas of the Burringbar Talking Street, improved pedestrian and cycle accessibility, and more trees under a comprehensive street tree plan were all received well by the community.

However, it appears that the report has struggled to address flooding concerns in the area recommended for development on the southern border of the town.

An area identified as Precinct 4 in the draft MMP, now identified as the Salt Water Creek Precinct, has come under fire from the Mullumbimby Residents Association (MRA) who have highlighted the serious flooding issues of the area.

Council staff have acknowledged in their report to Council that, ‘Much of the feedback received over the course of the exhibition period related to the suggested new release housing areas contained in the Byron Shire Draft Residential Strategy (DRS), which was exhibited in the weeks prior to Our Mullumbimby Masterplan.’

Planning confusion

Bringing the two plans to the community so close together has created confusion for residents over where to respond to have their concerns heard.

A Byron Shire Council spokesperson confirmed with Echonetdaily that any responses received by the MMP in relation to flooding will be provided to planning staff, who are considering feedback on the DRS.

However, the MRA have stated that the inclusion of this area in the MMP indicates that this ‘area is an accepted and integral part of the plan and it is going ahead once the flood issues are investigated and solutions found.’

They say that the inclusion of this area ‘was a last minute add-on to the plan from the [DRS]’. They also highlighted that concerns regarding flooding have been raised by NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE).

‘This precinct should be removed from the [Mullum] Master Plan until the [Draft] Residential Strategy has been finalised and all the relevant flood studies have been completed and peer reviewed,’ they said in their response to Council’s changes to the MMP following community feedback.

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