Byron Council’s blueprint for the future of Mullumbimby, including a significant increase in housing, is a step closer to becoming reality, after councillors unanimously endorsed the Mullumbimby Masterplan last week.
The Masterplan, developed in consultation with a group of local community representatives, predicts that Mullumbimby’s population will grow significantly in the coming years requiring a significant increase in housing.
Under the plan, much of this housing would be located in an area known as ‘Precinct 4 – South Mullumbimby’, which runs in a rough band from the old Mullum Hospital site right around the southern edge of the town to Ann Street near the town’s eastern entrance.
Other areas of land slated for development are the areas next to the rail corridor, infill development in the laneways and shop-top housing in the centre of town.
Mullumbimby’s central thoroughfare, Burringbar Street, is also set for a significant transformation – becoming a shared, pedestrian and bike-friendly zone with far fewer car movements.
This would be assisted by formalising the alternate vehicle routes around the town – Tincogan and Fern streets – which many use already.
A number of residents, including some of those on the Masterplan consultative committee, oppose the addition of significant extra housing.
A particular point of contention is the Lot 22 site – a parcel of Council-owned land next to the Mullumbimby community gardens that has been earmarked for affordable housing in the Masterplan and Council’s residential strategy.
Some argue that Lot 22, and other areas of land ear-marked for development are flood prone, while others oppose any significant new development in the town.
Councillor Basil Cameron spoke in favour of the plan at last week’s meeting, saying that Council and the community had ‘every right to be proud of this document.
‘This is about ensuring that the change that is going to happen can be influenced and directed by the community,’ cr Cameron said.
‘The concerns raised about Lot 22 are really something for the residential strategy and the planning process. This document does not authorise any particular development.’