23.2 C
Byron Shire
March 5, 2024

Destructive West Byron development refuses to die

Latest News

They’re wild and they’re back!

Wild Marmalade return to the Beach Hotel this week for a free Sunday session – if you don’t know Wild Marmalade then you are in for a treat. The world’s original didgeridoo and drum band certainly know how to spin the dial to 11 and get the high vibes rolling. They will be joined by Tijuana Cartel front man and guitar virtuoso, Paul A George; this is sure to be an epic afternoon of groove.

Other News

On Wallum

We seem to rely way too much on Byron Council and councillors to have the knowledge or expertise in...

Byron influencers

I'd love to know the fashion swimwear evolution for the Bundjalung people swimming at Tyagarah, 60,000, 50,000, 40,000, 30,000,...

The clean beach quest is on this Sunday!

Two local beach clean-ups, as part of Clean Up Australia Day, will be held in Bruns and Byron on March 3.

People becoming severely ill at home due to heat

People experiencing financial and social disadvantage are struggling to keep their homes cool in summer and becoming seriously unwell from the heat, new ACOSS research has found.

Cycling Without Age joins Northern Rivers Rail Trail

Tweed Shire Council has announced a collaboration with volunteer organisation Cycling Without Age as part of celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the opening of the popular Northern Rivers Rail Trail.

New Tweed Regional Gallery shows celebrate diversity

Four new exhibitions interrogating ideas of self through the use of portraiture, movement and the body will be on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery as part of the gallery’s Autumn exhibition series.

Site R&D’s (locals) proposed West Byron development. Image Dailan Pugh.

Opinion & image Dailan Pugh

West Byron has raised its ugly head again as a group of local landholders attempt to use the courts to force their excessive and inappropriate over-development of a sensitive site, adjacent to the Belongil Estuary, upon the Byron community, against its will and best interests.

Last year, after a prolonged struggle, the Byron community managed to convince the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) to refuse two development applications (DAs) for West Byron. Now the Site R&D has risen from the dead to menace us again.

Didn’t wait for DA decision

Not to be thwarted, the local landholders commenced legal proceedings in the Land and Environment Court against Byron Council, for deemed refusal, before the NRPP even had a chance to consider their Site R&D DA.

The NRPP concurred with Byron Council in giving 20 reasons for refusal. These primarily related to the inadequate assessment and mitigation of fill and stormwater impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the Belongil Estuary, along with the failure to comply with a multitude of planning requirements.

Not in public interest

The NRPP found ‘the site is not considered to be suitable for the proposed development in view of the identified constraints (acid sulfate soils, bushfire vegetation, flood prone land, high environmental value vegetation, koala habitat and threatened flora and fauna)’.

Most significantly, the NRPP concluded ‘the proposed development is not considered in the public interest’.

No substantial change

Now the local landholders have fiddled with their DA, seemingly to overcome some of the most blatant legal deficiencies, while minimising any meaningful changes. This minimally altered proposal has been put back on public exhibition until 9 April, giving you a chance to have a say before it goes back to court for them to decide whether to impose this monstrosity upon us.

They still intend clearing and fragmenting koala habitat, building a 4m high wall adjacent to Ewingsdale Road, importing 470,000 cubic metres of fill, and directing huge volumes of polluted stormwater into the Belongil Estuary and the Cape Byron Marine Park.

Site R&D say they now intend to subdivide into 162 lots, though this includes 25 super-lots intended for further subdivision. Three super-lots do not identify what further subdivision is intended, two are proposed for flats, and 20 show an indicative subdivision into 208 smaller lots. Many larger lots are capable of further subdivision and shop-top housing is also intended.

66% traffic increase

The traffic study is based upon 470 dwellings for Site R&D, for the whole development, generating another 14,000 car movements a day on Ewingsdale Road. Current traffic is around 21,000 car movements a day, so this is a 66 per cent increase.

I find it outrageous that a group of local landowners are trying to use the courts to shove their unwanted and inappropriate development down our throats, without any substantive changes – despite it already being rejected by Council, the NRPP and the community.

Villaworld DA

Villaworld Byron Bay, owned by Tower Holdings, have also taken Byron Council to court over their refused DA. They too are redrafting their DA, though at least they are telling us they will put forward a greatly reduced proposal which will address many of our concerns. Time will tell.

While there are innumerable reasons for rejecting Site R&D’s over-development, it is important that you show the Land and Environment Court that it is not in the community’s best interests by making a submission through Council’s website, you have until 9 April. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, just state that you object.

Check Byron Residents’ Group website and Facebook for updates.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I still find the maths in the car movements unbelievable.
    14,000 car movements devided by 470 lots means:-
    29 car movements per day from each lot.
    Dailan you need to throw your Aldi calculator away and buy a better one……

  2. Thanks Dailan, for keeping us all informed. Could you or The Echo please provide a link to the part of the council website to which we should address a submission? Much appreciated

  3. The traffic figures I gave are directly from the Site R&D traffic study and apply to the whole development – including Villaworld’s previous DA. These a based on the RTA guidelines. No calculator used by me.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

They’re just a Teenage Fanclub, baby

Teenage Fanclub will return to Australia in March performing their first live shows down under since 2019. The renowned Glasgow five-piece – led by founding members Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, with drummer Francis Macdonald, bassist Dave McGowan and keyboardist Euros Childs – will perform in Byron Bay on Tuesday, 12 March. The tour celebrates the band’s upcoming 12th studio album, Nothing Lasts Forever – set for release in September.

Interview with L.A.B ahead of Bluesfest

Following on from a year that has seen them sell-out tours in the States and Europe, L.A.B will soon return to Byron Bay Bluesfest with a new album ready to go. After winning Best Group, Best Song and Best Album two years in a row at the New Zealand Music Awards, taking out Best Record at the 2022 Rolling Stone Awards and being voted New Zealand’s Best Live Act by Radio New Zealand, L.A.B are on fire. L.A.B’s eclectic mix of reggae, blues, funk, rock and electronica creates a sound entirely their own, and one that we love. On vocals and guitar, Joel Shadbolt chatted with Seven about crossing the Tasman to play in Byron at Easter.

Byron Bay cyclists take on Yamba road race

Two Byron Bay Cycle Club (BBCC) members joined riders from the Clarence Valley for Yamba Cycling Club’s first road race of the season, the...

Byron Bay set to play Lennox Head to decide second-grade premiership

Byron Bay and Lennox Head will face each other in this year’s grand final of the Far North Coast Cricket Council’s Coastal League after...