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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Tawdry development vs Byron

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Suzanne Arnold, Byron Bay

As Byron’s visitors, residents, and traditional custodians know, the area’s land and seascapes nurture and energise us.

Some of the moments that I gather to myself are walking at night and wondering at so many stars shimmering in the darkness. Lying in bed I hear the ocean sounds signalling the wind direction and swell size. By day the bird calls and trees rustling are the background to life here. Surely these are attributes that a vision for Byron wants to retain?

Yet in the past six months two dwellings have been approved and built in my area that ignore and nullify these precious elements.

The first is a residence in Pacific Vista Ave, Byron Bay, that encompasses every corner of the block on which its three levels stands, and whose sparse greenery would be more fitting in Almeria, Spain. By evening, when one walks past, the sky is a black void because of the high voltage lighting competing with it from every part of the building, inside and out.

The second development is two new units in Paterson Street, that also encompass every part of the block on which they are set, either with bricks and mortar, or cement. When I walk past from Cooper St, only silence and stillness exude from the block where there were once tea trees, breezy shade and bird calls.

The overwhelming majority of Byron’s residents, and those who want to make the Shire their home, choose to live here because of the reasons I cited earlier. Wealthy or not, those who value such attributes are those who have made Byron the wonderful place it is. When will our elected representatives start showing, instead of simply voicing, such understanding – and start refusing to countenance such tawdry development?

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