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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Residents address court, opposed to West Byron

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A group of locals have addressed the Land and Environment Court (LEC) over the proposed West Byron housing development, raising concerns about the traffic, flooding, residential amenity and environmental impacts of the plan.

The court case was brought by Site R&D, which is one of two developers who have applied to turn the Ewingsdale Road site into a sprawling housing estate.

The other developer, listed under the name Villa World, is owned by Tower Holdings.

Both developers had their development applications refused by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), and Site R&D has elected to appeal that decision in court.

Last week, around half a dozen locals were given the opportunity to address the court regarding their opposition to the proposal.

Byron resident, and member of the Belongil catchment drainage board, Tom Vidal, addressed the court on the flood risks posed by the development.

‘Fifteen years ago we experienced a flood, which was pronounced a one in a 100-year flood event,’ Mr Vidal said. ‘Since then, we have had several, similar flood events, three of which occurred just over the last 18 months.’

‘Not only were hundreds of acres of agricultural land inundated at each occasion, but also flooded were the Cavanbah sports grounds, parts of the industrial estate, and at times parts of the Byron Bay CBD.’

Mr Vidal said that the Belongil Basin, where the proposed development is located, was subject to many processes that could be disastrously disrupted by flooding.

His said that this risk would be significantly increased if the development went ahead, because it would mean importing more water into the basin via gardens, driveways and the Byron Sewage Treatment Plant, which would be ‘releasing up to five million litres of treated effluent into the drainage system per day’.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. The Real Estate industry in Byron are petrified of this going through.! Imagine the even 1000 new homes on this development. Shit the market price would fall due to supply. Workers would have a chance to buy a block of land!! The day this development is approved in whatever form it takes it will slow the market.
    This is a Golden opportunity to fix ALL of Mr Vidals concerns Via strict drainage and estuary fortification throughout the developed area.
    The huge developments in Ballina recently along with the Suffolk Parks past developments show how run off can be dealt with to give a recreational lake and or a well landscaped water course for the release of large water flows. Modern roads are elevated above wetlands and population drives new infrastructure.
    It strikes me as out of balance whereby the wealthy and present home owners in the area are allowed to add Granny flats, extensions and huge developments, as well in the Industrial area which has had 2 storey sprawling developments approved.
    The Huge elephant in the room is the Belongil river. Never dredged and silted up, and Centuries of water have carved this drain to the ocean that serviced all the valleys behind Byron and Southern suburbs Via our wetlands until now.

    • House prices would drop? Workers would have a chance to buy land? Byron is the most expensive real estate in Australia, do you think everyone will all of a sudden not want to buy here because there is a lot more real estate for sale? Sure the supply will go up but the demand won’t change. They also won’t be releasing 1000 lots at once, it will come in incremental releases to maximize profits.

      You’re either delusional or have a vested interest in the development.

      I grew up here and for the first time in my life I am now lining up past Ozigo to leave Byron. The West Byron development will create more congestion, cause more pollution, damage the environment, and fatten the pockets of the already fat, greedy Byron real estate agents and developers.

    • Where there is insatiable demand, Wally, the supply and demand principle you are relying on is likely to make much difference to the affordability of these dwellings for ordinary people in the shire. I can see the investors lining up to pounce with their eyes on exorbitant short or long term rental. And sorry real estate agents don’t dread new sales opportunities opening up.

      No one wants to close the gate but we want development to be driven by sound planning principles not the profit driven principle that says any land is open slather for maximum exploitation.

      We could create a huge overpass along the length of Ewingsdale Road but where would it go? I know a whole upper storey over the entire township of Byron Bay. Think of the housing opportunities!

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