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Byron Shire
June 21, 2021

Overdevelopment on MOs and CTs?

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Boyd Warren, Main Arm

Having worked as a planning consultant in Byron Shire for the past 40 years I am mystified why Council planning staff ‘are pushing to prohibit dual occupancy and secondary dwellings on approved multiple occupancies (MO) and community titles (CT) in rural areas’ (Echo 18 November).

Over the last ten years Council has allowed dual occupancy or ‘granny flats’ in urban areas to allow increased population without additional land take in urban areas.

The dwelling density on MOs is controlled largely by the proven ability to demonstrate the responsible disposal of waste water, manage traffic, noise and bushfire planning.

Sixty plus years ago NSW planning law allowed for a greater residential dwelling density in rural areas. Prior to that NSW had adopted British planning laws of ‘Urban’ and ‘Non-Urban’. That is, you were a farmer or you lived in town. The allowance of a greater residential density in rural areas has allowed for a ‘living in nature’ lifestyle that an increasing number of people in Byron and the adjoining shires enjoy.

I am mystified to understand on what basis Council planning staff would move to limit the lifestyle options available to their constituents. The term ‘overdevelopment’ means what? Is this a state government directive or just a bunch of ‘townies’ dictating how we should live?

They profess to be a green council, which allows for a diversity of lifestyle in the way we interact with nature and community. Let’s not be pushed around by bureaucratic influences from Sydney. As a council engineer/planner boss of mine said to me 40 years ago, ‘We do things differently up here’. Vive la difference.


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  1. Very good points made . I agree with you entirely . Particularly good to get a perspective from someone with so much experience in the area over decades.


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