Plans for 15 ‘affordable housing’ units in Lismore Rd, Bangalow, were given the green light by Byron Council.
The proposal, which features a mix of one, two and three bedroom units, is the latest development from The Kollective.
The company has built around half-a-dozen other, similar projects across the Shire, many with strong neighbour opposition.
Scores of residents made submissions opposing the development when it first went on public exhibition, with dozens of others signing petitions.
The matter came before Byron Council’s Planning and Development meeting last Thursday, with councillors voting unanimously to authorise the general manager, Mark Arnold, to enter into a conciliation agreement approving the development.
As part of the motion, Mr Arnold was instructed to ask The Kollective if it would be willing to further amend its plans in order to introduce more parking spaces and alleviate privacy issues affecting neighbours.
If the developer does not agree to these amendments, the GM will go ahead with the conciliation agreement.
The Kollective already agreed to amend its plans late last year, reducing the total number of units from 17 to 15, redesigning the five studio apartments, and breaking the largest of the proposed buildings into two separate structures.
The amendment offer was made as the two sides went through the compulsory mediation process after the developer lodged proceedings in the Land and Environment Court late last year.
Council subsequently received legal advice indicating that it would cost around $28,000 to pursue the matter in court.
At last Thursday’s council meeting councillor Basil Cameron originally moved a motion that the general manager should only grant approval if The Kollective agreed to further amend its plans.
However, he agreed to alter the motion after a number of other councillors argued it would simply result in legal action.
‘These guys aren’t mugs – this is going to court [if we don’t approve it],’ Cr Richardson said.
‘We live under a crappy affordable housing SEPP [State Environmental Planning Policy] and some of those provisions are reflected in the design we’ve got here.
‘However, the design changes they’ve agreed to are legitimate and significant.
‘I acknowledge the fact that neighbours don’t want this. But I feel these buildings would blend in completely to the landscape.
‘It’s not going to destroy the gateway to Bangalow. You’ll barely notice it.’
Earlier, the president of the Bangalow Progress Association Ian Holmes said affordable housing had already been given due consideration in the Bangalow Village Plan.
‘This is a short-term money grab by opportunistic developers building homes for upwardly mobile millennials which causes long term damage to the community,’ he said.