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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Hands off our lane!

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Interview with Michael Balson, creator of Ocean to Sky

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Annette Feletti, Byron Bay

We are residential land owners and our homes are already encircled by commercial land and activities at the Jonson/Browning Street intersection.

Not being commercially zoned greatly restricts our ability to counteract excessive development application (DA) proposals. In the past, developers have sought four storeys to tower above us. They also sought to commercialise our narrow residential laneway access with a busy two level underground carpark entry/exit, a waste removal station and a loading dock.

Fortunately the first DA was conclusively rejected by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Committee in November 2018. At the time the Mayor and other councillors voiced their opposition to this DA. We need their support again.

The latest planning proposal now being considered, again seeks the commercialisation of Ruskin Lane for a 125 car capacity underground car park entry/exit, loading dock and waste removal facilities.

It is an enduring feature of developers to seek to commercialise public facilities for their own profit, ignoring residents’ existing rights and their need for protection from intrusive noise and loss of privacy.

Only Council can extend fair consideration to residents like ourselves. For this reason we have written to all councillors to enact a provision in the new planning proposal which: (a) retains the existing floor space ratio and height limit of 9m in the LEP, for the properties to be covered by the proposed B3 zone where they share laneways with existing R2 zoned land, and, (b) ensures that the use of such laneways for any commercial purposes, including carpark entrances, waste removal sites or loading docks, not be permitted.

We are not opposed to thoughtful and orderly development. However, to not acknowledge and understand the impacts of oversize developments, which seek to appropriate residential laneways and turn them into commercial alleyways is a major flaw which we ask all councillors to correct.

 

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Resilience through biodiversity and awareness

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