6.5 C
Byron Shire
July 23, 2024

Unanswered questions, poor process surrounds contentious DA

Latest News

Tweed council catching up on DA backlog

Tweed Shire Council staff say they’re catching up on and reducing the number of outstanding development applications [DAs] lodged locally.

Other News

Affordable housing

The Country Women’s Association of NSW’s policy is to advocate to governments to prioritise the construction of social and...

Regional ratios rollout NSW begins in Lismore

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has welcomed the announcement of nurse-to-patient ratios at two regional NSW hospitals but has expressed concern over the pace of the phased rollout.

Keeping the Outback alive with patronage

We do love the sunburnt country on our wide brown land, but businesses are falling by the wayside as travellers bypass small towns, or worse, stop to spend a penny but not a few dollars.

David – ‘self-hating Jew’

I am overwhelmed by the vitriol hurled at the 'self-hating Jew' David Heilpern by the letter writers in last...

Mullum’s future water supply Q&A

In the same week public submissions were published largely against Council staff plans to decommission Mullum’s local water supply in favour of bulk supplier Rous (see page 1), Greens Council candidates are calling for a pause on the decision until after the September 14 local government elections. 

Wiped out

The 2024 British election called by the ruling Conservative (Tory) Party resulted in it being wiped out by its...

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

King tide flooding in Ballina

King tides in Ballina are expected to cause minor flooding of some local roads this week.

Teenage girl missing from Coffs Harbour

Police are asking the public for help finding a teenage girl reported missing from the Coffs Harbour area over the weekend.

Ballina motel siege: captives freed after 6 hrs

A man is to face court today after allegedly holding a woman and a small child against their will in a Ballina unit on Friday.

Editorial – Water politics is undrinkable 

Until now, the most significant difference between Mayor Michael Lyon (independent, former Green) and Greens challenger Cr Sarah Ndiaye has been on the Wallum fiasco.