7.3 C
Byron Shire
July 30, 2021

Editorial – Ewingsdale development creep rejected by residents

Latest News

I’m with you Mandy…

Dominica Coulthurst, Knockrow I’m with you Mandy... all the way. Thanks so much for your Soapbox message last week. Always love...

Other News

There’s a Byron Shire north?

Jenny Mansfield, Ocean Shores I received a calendar via letterbox drop from Alan Hunter ‘Vote 1 for Byron Shire Council’. They...

Why the rush?

Jason Beaumont, Suffolk Park I wanted to respond the brain aneurysm-causing letter by one Sara Rath (21 July). The letter writer...

$10k fine for man who flew to Ballina while COVID infected, as govt takes Pfizer vaccine from regions

A young man who left COVID lockdown in Sydney and flew to Ballina while infected with the virus has been fined nearly $10,000 for numerous health order breaches in NSW and Queensland.

New digs for Bangalow Lions Club

After 30 years of using a makeshift shed at the Bangalow Showground for their bar and barbecue, the Bangalow Lions Club have opened their newly constructed Lions Kiosk.

Local Labor

Asren Pugh, Labor candidate for Mayor Labor has a very long and proud history as part of the Byron Shire community...

Byron Shire residents urged to get tested

Fragments of the COVID-19 virus have been found in the Byron Bay sewerage treatment plant (STP) that services Byron Bay, Broken Head, Suffolk Park, Wategos, and Sunrise areas and the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD) are asking residents and visitors to get tested at the first sign of any symptoms.

The Higgins Homestead in Ewingsdale, at the Gateway to Byron Bay. Photo Jeff Dawson

Hans Lovejoy, editor

A petition of 294 signatures against rezoning Ewingsdale farmland to commercial use will be presented to councillors for their upcoming Thursday meeting.

If successful, it would prevent a proposal next to the Byron Central Hospital for an over 55s retirement village, or aged care facility called Ingenia Lifestyle.

Its developers have flagged their intention to build on surrounding farmland after similar attempts by the Belbecks some years ago. At that time, residents were successful in scaring off the developers.

Yet despite the current opposition by residents, the ‘Greens’ Council majority appears to have given passage for such developments via its recently adopted Business and Industrial Lands Strategy 2020 (BILS).

It’s a policy that attracted criticism from the community as well as those vying to become Greens councillors at the upcoming September election. It is one of the many issues that has divided the local party under outgoing Mayor, Simon Richardson.

Shannon Burt, Director Sustainable Environment and Economy raised the BILS issue in this week’s Council agenda.

In part, she wrote, ‘Any development proposal in proximity to the hospital will be assessed against its consistency with the function of the hospital, its ability to value add to existing community and economic benefits of the hospital and its commercial viability’.

Guess what – that includes an over 55s retirement village or aged care facility.

The question is, can Council, as a legislative branch of the state government, do anything to prevent such developments?

(The answer is yes, but they don’t want to).

And is stopping such developments what the majority of the residents want? 

Councillors would argue that such a facility would be welcomed by the wider community.

And besides, it appears reasonable to expand an already established area for such use.

Never mind that development creep was not considered when the hospital was built. 

Another question is: Should Council make it hard for developers to be successful with large-scale DAs like this?

With wealth comes the ability to endlessly pursue inappropriate developments, so putting up some resistance, even tokenistic, would seem reasonable to achieve the best outcome for those affected.

Yet as recent court losses indicate, Council doesn’t appear to be bothered with that charade.

For years, Council’s planning and legal direction appears to have been led by unelected bureaucrats, and as a result, the community’s interests are not served particularly well.

With a rapid influx of wealthy people, many of whom are keen to cash in on Byron, the job of defending against inappropriate developments becomes harder.

Perhaps with this rapid influx of a wealthy population, there will be some with experience in local government and planning?

It helps to be wealthy, as the pay is peanuts.

Elections are looming this September!

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


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

Ballina Shire Council supports application for new croquet club

The Ballina Croquet Club is hoping to receive up to $300,000 in funding for a new club house at Cawarra Park. 

Storylines: Growing hope

Hope is a fragile thing in 2021. With the current pandemic and the uncertainty in so many aspects of life, our hope is being shadowed by fear. It is profoundly affecting our humanity.

Northern Rivers responds to cal for COVID-19 testing

Following the flight of a COVID positive traveller from Sydney to Ballina and the detection of COVID fragments in the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) both locals and visitors have responded to calls for more testing in the region.

Open-air art walk by the river at Murwillumbah completed

The Ages of the Tweed mural that accompanies the open-air riverside art walk has now been completed.