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Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Council staff back Wilsons Ck CT plans, despite flood, fire prone lands

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A large parcel of degraded farmland is slated for community title at 31 Alidenes Road. Image supplied in staff report

A 15 lot Community Title (CT) subdivision on 12.27 ha of low lying, flood prone, degraded farmlands at the bottom of Wilsons Creek is before the public, which, if approved, would be allowed to straddle RU2 zoned land.

The planning proposal is on exhibition until July 9.

Located at 31 Alidenes Road, next to a relay power sub station, the ‘land intersects’ Yankee Creek waterway and ‘suitable riparian buffers’.

In their report, Council staff make the case for the CT and say, ‘No more than one dwelling will be permitted on each lot’, and if approved, the CT, ‘will be identified on the relevant LEP 2014 Multiple Occupancy and Community Title Map, along with a numerical label specifying the maximum number of neighbourhood lots permitted for subdivision’.

The NSW Department Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE) have granted the proposal Gateway Determination, provided there is consultation with various government departments and organisations, including Rural Fire Service and biodiversity and fisheries departments.

The Council staff report relies on ‘information provided’ around the developer’s claims there is ‘no evidence of intensive horticulture’.

Flooding risks downplayed

Although the low-lying lands straddle Yankee Creek waterway, the staff report says that the ‘catchments feeding the waterways are small so floods rise fast but also disappear quickly’.

The report says, ‘Flood free access to and around the site is not available, however sufficient flood free land is available on the site to enable some rural residential subdivision/development’.

Additionally staff suggest that an ‘Upgrade to the main causeway on Alidenes Road should be considered as a condition of consent in order to improve the flood immunity for access to the development (DA stage)’.

Staff also say that ‘No environmental standards will be reduced’ if approved, and say, ‘In Byron Shire, environmental zones are being dealt with as a separate process, including for riparian land’.

The subject land is included in the Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy 2017 as a potential area for ‘rural lifestyle living opportunities’, say staff.

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