The Browning Street Resident’s Group (BSRG) are calling for a full independent assessment of Jonson Street versus Ruskin Lane access to a large mixed residential/commercial proposal, now on exhibition.
Developer Graham Dunn has defended the proposal, which is located on the corner block opposite Mitre 10 and Byron Music.
The traffic report within the DA claims that, if approved, there would be just under 1,000 traffic movements in the laneway each day. In 2018, Dunn’s first DA was rejected by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), while Council staff supported approval.
Submissions for the latest DA close February 7.
BSRG’s Annette Feletti says, ‘It’s not okay to grab a residential laneway and heavily commercialise it at the expense of pedestrian safety and the amenity of adjacent residents.
‘The commercially zoned Jonson Street is a wide boulevard that provides clear lines of sight for both motorists and pedestrians, it is a safe option and should be used.
‘Access via Jonson Street makes more sense, particularly as the Byron Bay bypass becomes operational and the masterplan is implemented, both of which will reduce through traffic in the heart of the Bay.
‘We paid for our own traffic report, which says Ruskin Lane access is problematic,’ she added.
Traffic report done
Yet the developer says an independent traffic study has already been undertaken. Graham Dunn told Echonetdaily, ‘Byron Shire Council engaged and paid a specialist Transport, Traffic and Parking Engineering firm from Lismore to conduct a review of the 139 Jonson traffic and car parking plans, in 2018. The assessment concluded that four amendments be made to improve the overall traffic design. All of these were incorporated, the most significant being limiting traffic to only turning left into Ruskin Lane, and only turning right exiting onto Browning Street’.
Dunn, who says he is a longtime local, told Echonetdaily he and his team thanked the community for their input to date.
‘My family is proud to be behind Byron’s first mixed use project that provides for all permanent residential accommodation with no short-term accommodation at all.
‘Cars accessing the property would travel eight metres up Ruskin Lane only, along the boundary of one property. Trucks would travel up to 38 metres of the 175 metre laneway, along the boundary of two properties. 139 Jonson have proposed, however, to refurbish 53 metres of Ruskin Lane. The remainder has already been refurbished by Byron Shire Council’.
BSRG’s Annette Feletti maintains that a genuine independent assessment is required, which would take into account the impact ‘on residential amenity of putting 1,000 daily car and truck movements only six metres from residential land.
‘We look to fairness from the Council in this regard,’ she said. ‘We are not opposing a development that conforms with the LEP.
‘That means putting up with the excavation of a two storey underground carpark, and building noise that will go on for about 18 months.
‘However, we oppose the commercialisation of Ruskin Lane, which will ruin our residential amenity and create serious road safety issues,’ she said.
A BSRG Facebook page called Hands off Ruskin Lane has been created, ‘So locals from the Bay can comment and discuss this DA.
‘I would urge anyone who feels strongly about preserving the residential character and history of Byron Bay to voice their objections to DA 10.2019.616.1 by emailing [email protected] by the cut-off date of February 7,’ Feletti said.
The developer has also created a website to explain his proposal.