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Byron Shire
August 6, 2021

Is it really an MO? Or just a subdivision?

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Ray Goodwin, MARRA

Ratepayers and residents are to eat dust, cooked in potholes on Blindmouth Road because of the road conditions and an approval for 12 more houses. And during floods the creek becomes the road.

A resident and the local residents’ association MARRA addressed Council last Thursday about the staff report recommending approval of a development application (DA) for a new 12-way Multiple Occupancy on Blindmouth Road and on Blindmouth Creek.

Councillors did listen on the flood issue and approved the DA with ‘Deferred Commencement’. That means the causeway will be upgraded and some hundreds of metres of Blindmouth Road will be sealed (not all) before the rest of the DA takes effect. This avoids what happened for similar DA’s in Main Arm a couple of years ago – their requirement to upgrade another causeway over Blindmouth Creek was scuttled and the public ended up paying $1.6 million to build it.

The upgrades don’t address the rest of the issues with Blindmouth Road and the fact most of it turns into a creek when it rains. I know of one buyer who recently withdrew from a property purchase on Blindmouth Road fearing emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to access them.

The Councillors and staff seem blinded by the lust for developers dollars and for housing at any cost. They dismissed the other half dozen objections by MARRA and approved the DA essentially as applied for.

One of the defects in the MO’s DA is that it has no intentional community to agree a collective Management Plan. Instead, a generic Plan was put forward and accepted.

Another was that Council says MO houses should be clustered in groups of at least three. This DA has a cluster of two. What would be wrong if the DA was for 10 houses that can cluster rather than 12 that can’t?

And why have these rules if you’re happy to waive them at the drop of a hat.

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