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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

$20m DA for Bruns under fire

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Russell Eldridge, Brunswick Heads

I’m drawing people’s attention to a massive $20 million development application (DA) for Brunswick Heads, which was snuck onto public exhibition during the holidays.

The DA (No: 10.2020.24.1) proposes about 150 residential lots in Bayside Brunswick, including ‘lifestyle’ blocks within a valuable koala corridor. Submissions close on February 26.

The concept plan was approved, with reservations, by the NSW government in 2013. The then Department of Planning (DoP) described the proposed subdivision as being ‘located near an environmentally sensitive area’.

It also said ‘The environmental significance of the site is high… the concept plan may have impacts on the koala corridor’. The site has also been identified as habitat for the endangered Wallum Froglet and the glossy black cockatoo.

In addition, a bushfire report said the site was ‘likely to be affected by bushfires’.

Despite this, and despite submissions from Friends of the Koala and others, the department gave the go-ahead to the concept plan.

They placed conditions on the subdivision, such as a Wallum Froglet rehabilitation area in a central drain, and a domestic pet ban.

That approval in 2013 was bad enough, but surely it is now redundant given the dramatic climate shifts of the past few years, with apocalyptic bushfires and extinction threats for a range of wildlife, including koalas?

Other concerns about this DA include the hundreds of extra vehicles trying to negotiate the T-intersection on the old highway, the medium density housing and small lot sizes, lack of parks, and the clearing of vast numbers of trees.

See for yourself on the Council website or at the Council offices.

The clincher is that the Council, which raised its own objections in 2013, will be sidelined. Guess who the determining authority is? Yep, the good old develop-or-bust Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP).

So far, there hasn’t been a peep from any of our councillors, green or beige.

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