470,000 cubic metres of fill over wetlands?
In a seemingly never-ending effort to develop and monetise constrained and flood prone land just outside Byron Bay, a group of local landholders have again put forward an amended development application (DA) for the proposed West Byron suburb.
Over many years it has drawn considerable community resistance, owing to the potential ecological destruction and increased traffic issues it would cause.
The amended DA (10.2017.661.1) is now on exhibition for four weeks, until April 9, and while submissions should be made to Council, it will be decided by the Land & Environment Court, and Northern Regional Planning Panel.
The proposal by Site R&D Pty Ltd is to subdivide six large lots into 162 smaller lots, which would consist of 127 residential lots, 25 super/master lots (lots which can be subsequently subdivided, developed and purposely planned for residential development), two business lots, two Industrial lots, one recreation lot, and five residue lots.’
It is estimated to cost $40,167,080 and the DA comes in 54 separate PDF documents via Council’s online DA tracker.
According to the DA available on Council’s website, the subdivision would be in twelve stages, and includes construction of a roundabout on Ewingsdale Road, an access and internal roads, provision of water, stormwater, sewer, power and telephone services, upgrading and embellishment of the drainage channel and bulk earthworks, ‘including the importation of approximately 470,000 cubic metres of fill.’
An acoustic fence is proposed adjacent to Ewingsdale Road, and habitat reconstruction and offset planting on E2 and E3 zoned land within the site is also within the DA.
The Echo asked Council’s planning staff why they did not present to the public what specific amendments were made, but there was no reply by deadline.
While a company search for Site R&D Pty Ltd states that it has two Sydney-based directors, Kerry and Stuart Murray, a spokesperson on behalf of the landowners told The Echo that Kerry Murray ‘has nothing to do with the project’.
In 2018, Site R&D Pty Ltd lodged an appeal in the Land & Environment court against Council over a deemed refusal, which was owing to the time taken to assess the DA.
Who are the local landowners?
A spokesperson on behalf of the West Byron landowners confirmed the locals who are seeking to develop the large parcel of land.
The ‘local’ landowners are Tony Smith, Alan Heathcote, Peter Croke, David O’Connor, Garry McDonald, Warren Simmons and Kevin Rogers (described as a ‘long-term investor in Byron’.)
The spokesperson added, ‘The land that was owned by Crighton Properties is [now] owned by North Shore Property Trust (NSPT), which is Terry Agnew’s company.
‘The DA formerly [lodged] by Villaworld and is no longer part of the West Byron project’