A proposal for 39 boarding rooms, retail and shop top spaces has sparked organised community opposition, with Brunswick Heads residents and a Bayside developer meeting over the weekend to plan a strategy and highlight how inappropriate the proposal is for their community.
The group, Bayside CONNECTED, has also launched a GoFundMe campaign (www.au.gofundme.com/f/help-save-bayside) to help pay for a property lawyer and planner.
DA 10.2020.571.1 is proposed for 94 Kingsford Drive, and as part of the DA process, developer The Kollective engaged with residents prior to a DA being submitted.
While The Corso is listed on Council’s DA tracker website, DA documents are yet to be published.
Codlea, the developer of the remaining land at Bayside, was represented at the meeting by one of their directors, Ian Fraser. He told The Echo Codlea sold the commercial block to The Kollective earlier this year.
Mr Fraser said, ‘We had the opportunity to cut the remaining developable land into small allotments and maximise our return’.
‘We resisted that, because we didn’t want to tip a bucket on the people who already live here. So it is a shame to see someone trying to do this, when we have gone to the trouble to keep up the standard of Bayside.
‘When offering to purchase Lot 71, The Kollective showed us concept plans of a commercial development, which included a medical centre. We were happy, and thought it would be good for the locality, and make the commercial development of the land viable. The Kollective assured us their development would be in line with their concept plan.
Vastly different plans from original
‘As a result of the community consultation process we learned that The Kollective’s proposal was vastly different from the concept we were provided.
‘Codlea directors met with The Kollective, expressing their disapproval of the proposal, and offered to buy back the commercial land. This offer was not taken up.
‘On more than one occasion, Codlea has approached Byron Shire Council to change the zoning of Lot 71 to Residential B, but our attempts were unsuccessful; the reason being, that Council considered there was insufficient commercially-zoned land in the Shire. How can Council approve this “mostly residential” development, when Codlea was refused a back-zoning to residential?’
The Echo asked Council staff to confirm the claims by Mr Fraser, but no reply was received by deadline.
Mr Fraser continued, ‘What The Kollective proposes will house in excess of 100 people. The 39-room boarding house only requires half a car space each, so when you include the shop top flats there could be up to 100 cars parked in the streets and on the verges.
‘With roughly another 150 housing blocks and 400 plus people moving into Bayside over the next few years it is even more important for the community to retain a commercially zoned lot’.
Meanwhile, Jude Brazenor from Bayside CONNECTED said, ‘This is the Shire’s biggest boarding house DA to date, and it does not have the parking, public transport, jobs, amenities or infrastructure to support it’.
‘It threatens to bring a host of safety, social, traffic and parking issues to yet another Shire community.
‘We are supportive of the need for affordable housing, but the Kollective’s boarding houses are rented at strong market rates… There must be a better solution than building micro-apartments as small as 20sqm for two people’.
She added, ‘If a boarding house can be built in the middle of a family focussed housing estate such as Bayside, it can happen anywhere in the Shire’.
The Kollective was contacted for comment, but none was received by deadline. Mayor Simon Richardson is yet to reply regarding his support of Kollective developments.