Jennifer Gray, Myocum
Although Villa World’s Byron development application for its half of the West Byron subdivision was rejected by the planning panel and the Byron Shire community, another DA has been dropped on us this week for the same site (see p.9).
Villa World has reworked the details of its proposal and is taking it to the Land and Environment Court. So after three years of research and debate on the original version, community members now have seven days (till 30 September) to investigate, assess, discuss, and make recommendations, on a very different proposed development.
Not only is this a ludicrously short time frame, but also the community consultation on the latest version by Villa World has been non-existent, other than an admission in the DA documents that criticism by the community has led to the alterations, such as a reduction in the number of lots and fill, and retention of most of the frog habitat.
Without proper assessment of the new DA by knowledgeable community members, we cannot be reassured that these changes will make any difference to the risks to the environment caused by the Villa World project. Byron Shire Council is ‘interested in hearing your views on the amended plans’.
We thought the game was over when the planning panel announced its refusal. However, Villa World has moved the goal posts, and we have discovered we were playing the wrong game.