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’.