A request to rezone the rail corridor between Bayshore Drive and Lawson Street, Byron Bay, so the Byron Bay Railroad Company (solar train) can undertake track maintenance is up before councillors at this Thursday’s planning meeting, August 13.
Currently the not-for-profit company requires consent for that activity, and staff say rezoning requires amending the Byron Local Environmental Plan (BLEP) 2014.
This includes changing the ‘W1 Natural Waterways zoning that applies to the section of rail located on the existing bridge across Belongil Creek’.
Staff say in the report that, ‘Nothing in this planning proposal would provide any exclusivity to the current operator or prevent any future rail uses’.
Yet there were additions to the proposal sought by the Biodiversity Conservation Division (BCD) of the NSW Department Planning, Industry & Environment. They include making reference to the Belongil Creek Flood Risk Management Study 2015 and consulting with ‘Arakwal with relation to cultural heritage’. Both were adopted within the rezoning request, say staff.
Additionally the ‘BCD objected to the proposed additional permitted uses, insofar as they would allow development without consent within areas mapped as Coastal Wetland or Littoral Rainforest under SEPP (Coastal Management) 2018, or within areas mapped as proximate to those areas’.
Council staff argued that as provisions of SEPP (Coastal Management) 2018 take precedence over the Byron LEP, ‘this will override the provisions of the additional permitted uses clause for the section of the corridor mapped as Coastal Wetland’.