7 C
Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Unanswered questions, poor process surrounds contentious DA

Latest News

Bluesfest announces October dates for 2021 festival

After two disappointing cancelations of their event, Bluesfest has announced that they will hold the 2021 festival over the...

Other News

Editorial: The vulnerable at risk

Most of us would hope that the taxes we pay go towards key areas such as health, education and to supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Elvis has Left the Building

My dog died. I haven’t been able to write about it until now. It was a month ago, and he was old, but it was still unexpected, and it leaves you feeling a bit raw.

Highway traffic delays after truck rollover north of Byron

There have been two highway crashes north of Byron this morning.

Tweed residents facing rate rise in 2021/2022 financial year

Tweed residents are invited to provide feedback on their council's budget, revenue policy and fees and charges, as Tweed Council prepares to finalise its delivery program and operational plan for the next financial year.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Hans Lovejoy

Council planner, Chris Larkin, is yet to reply to whether he will assess ‘assertions’ made by Greens mayoral hopeful and water engineer, Duncan Dey, regarding the lack of legal road access for an advertised DA in Coopers Lane West in Main Arm.

The Echo asked Council staff, ‘Given Mr Dey’s claim (supported by a letter to Council some months ago) that there is no evidence of a right of carriageway to the property, will Mr Larkin be now ‘exploring’ whether legal access exists or not?’

‘And if no evidence of legal access is found to be correct, will the DA be refused?’

There are ongoing disputes between residents around the right of carriageway, along with doubt over whether the access track can ever comply with bushfire regulations.

In April 2020, councillors contentiously approved a secondary dwelling DA on the lot adjoining the current DA in Coopers Lane West. 

A deferred commencement depends on rectifying access on a long, steep and winding road on adjacent private land, which passes Mr Dey’s home.

The owners of that land say they don’t want a ‘superhighway to a thriving suburb through their farm’.

Incomplete DAs put before public by staff

The issue raises the question of DA procedures, whereby staff publicly exhibit DAs that are incomplete, contain errors or are non-compliant. 

RFS guidelines (Planning for Bushfire Protection) say legal compliant access must exist before the DA is lodged.

Duncan Dey said, ‘By exhibiting DAs as lodged (prior to staff scrutinising them), the public are prevented from viewing the proposal that will eventually be assessed by staff, after they’ve negotiated with the proponent’.

‘Perhaps it’s corporate laziness: the public do the first round of scrutinising (it’s cheap labour). Or it could be worse: if there are no objections, there is no scrutiny. When a DA is lodged with errors, objectors should have a second round of viewing.

‘In the case of DA 496, key issues weren’t even raised: legal access wasn’t presented; physical access is too steep for bushfire protection.

‘I can raise these issues in a submission, but I’ll never know how they were handled.’

Staff replied, ‘Development applications are assessed and determined in accordance with relevant legislation, the principle of which is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979’.

‘Council’s Code of Conduct specifically provides that staff must take all relevant facts known, or that they should be reasonably aware of, into consideration and have regard to the merits of each case.

‘It is not therefore possible to comment on a particular application.

‘Council staff are bound by the provisions of Council’s Code of Conduct.

‘The Code of Conduct provides that Council staff must act lawfully and honestly.

For information relating to the exhibition of development applications go to Byron Shire Council’s website

Information about NSW DA requirements can be found at Planning NSW.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality.