Hilarie Dunn, Eureka
What is the Byron Shire Council (BSC) doing to Eureka? The peaceful rural location near Federal is at risk of becoming a development nightmare with a development application (DA) currently before Council that seeks to replace a large macadamia farm and cattle property, at 149 Federal Drive, with 15 Community Title residential blocks.
The project is completely at odds with the Byron Rural Land Use Strategy (RLUS) 2017 and the Byron Local Environment Plan (LEP). Most of the proposed residential lots would be located on land zoned RU1 (for the uninitiated, that is primary production). Meaning that 40–50 hectares of agricultural land would be lost. Forever.
If that’s not bad enough, many of the proposed lots are on a prominent ridgeline, which again completely contradicts the Byron Development Control Plan (DCP). Among the DCP aims are ‘to minimize the visual impact of development when viewed from adjacent land, public reserves, public areas and waterways…’ and ‘to ensure that development does not occur on or near any ridgeline unless no alternative location is available’.
Many families in Eureka will be negatively affected by any building on the ridgeline, as well as the general scale of this proposed development. For the many visitors to our area they will be greeted with urban sprawl, instead of the gentle hills and quiet country roads so loved by everyone.
The BSC has spent significant time and resources to produce very clear strategies and guidelines to protect the agricultural land and beauty of the Shire from detrimental development. These documents are empty words if the Council is unwilling to follow through and put a stop to the wrong kind of development. Councillors, be on the right side of history.