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Byron Shire
January 19, 2022

Large parking lot proposed for Byron rail corridor

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Development creep – a new proposal for a large car park south of Mitre 10 abuts ecologically zoned land. Image from Council’s letter to affected residents.

Plans to rezone transport corridor land to private use south of Mitre 10 near the new bypass have stirred neighbours into action, with claims it would set a precedent and has ‘no place in future-proofing Byron Bay’.

In a letter to neighbouring residents, Council staff say the land has been sold by Transport for NSW to ‘private ownership’.

‘The rezoning will enable a car park over part of this site’.

Council staff say design details will be available at the development stage, ‘where you will have another opportunity to provide comment’.

‘The southern part of the property is proposed to have E2 Environmental Conservation and E3 Environmental Management zones applied to facilitate revegetation of this area’.

Affected resident Vivienne Swann told The Echo she believes the car park proposal is multi level.

Retrograde 1960s concept

She said, ‘Brisbane banned multi-level parking lots some time ago. Byron Bay must never be allowed to build multi-storey parking lots anywhere in town – we simply cannot allow this to happen because it will set a precedent. It’s a retrograde 1960s concept which has no place in future-proofing Byron Bay’.

She describes it as ‘a 150 metre long eyesore of concrete and steel all set in a beautiful wooded area.

‘A proposed multi-level car park smacks of gross mismanagement and retrograde lack of planning, not to mention complete contempt for the locals who live here, combined with the abject arrogance shown by certain developers who couldn’t give a damn about Byron Bay’s unique position as a “desirable global suburb”.’   

Not aligned with town’s masterplan

Supporting Ms Swann’s views on strategic planning, Byron Bay’s Masterplan (page 134) says, ‘All buildings and spaces alongside the rail corridor should address and activate the rail line through supporting a varied mix of uses including retail, commercial, pilot projects, markets, festivals and events’.

The masterplan supports adapting the North Coast Railway line for light rail facilities ‘not heavy rail’.

Yet the masterplan also says ‘Park and Ride opportunities should be catered for, reducing vehicular travel into the town centre’.

The planning proposal is on exhibition until June 7 and is available at Council’s website under the public notices section.


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12 COMMENTS

  1. Car parks are only a good idea if non resident traffic is made to use them and emission free transport is provided, gratis. Bed tax would offset cost of transport.
    This transport would be on a regular set route via beaches, lighthouse and shops at 10 min intervals in peak times.

  2. Doesn’t most of the traffic come in from the north? Wouldn’t it better better (if all all) to build this concrete monstrosity somewhere up that end?
    And what does it mean when ‘The rezoning will enable a car park over part of this site’. What’s the other part going to be? Yet more restaurants, bars, and shops?

    Poor Byron, getting more like the GC everyday!

  3. And there are those in the Byron Shire who think the Rail Trail is a secret ploy to sell off the Corridor!!!! Well this just proves that’s not the case! Use it now or lose it, Byron Shire or more and more of this community asset will be sold off by the Government.

    • That’s quite misleading Glenys. The section of land being sold is technically not part of the rail corridor itself. It is land adjacent to the corridor and owned by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and surplus to their requirement, hence being sold. You can see the actual rail corridor boundary by looking at the fenceline to the right of the railway line against the existing buildings.

      The simple fact is that activity in the rail corridor has no bearing on adjacent lands owned by TfNSW. The rail trail or any other proposal for the rail corridor has no bearing on whether adjacent surplus lands are sold off. In the same way, trains running on the railway line have no bearing on whether adjacent surplus lands are sold off. It is misleading to suggest a rail trail within the rail corridor would stop the future sale/repurposing of adjacent lands which are surplus to TfNSW requirement.

      Perhaps you should research and understand the different types of land before making statements which could be seen as misleading scare tactics.

    • Marie, stop scaremongering and spreading misinformation. The section of land being sold is technically not part of the rail corridor itself. It is land adjacent to the corridor and owned by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and surplus to their requirement, hence being sold. In the image, the actual rail corridor boundary can be seen by looking at the fenceline to the right of the railway line against the existing buildings.

      The rail trail or any other proposal for the rail corridor has no bearing on whether adjacent surplus lands are sold off. In the same way, trains running on the railway have no bearing on whether adjacent surplus lands are sold off. It is misleading to suggest a rail trail within the rail corridor would stop the future sale/repurposing of adjacent lands which are surplus to TfNSW requirement.

      Do the research and understand the differences in types of land before making misleading comments.

  4. So they’re carving up even more of a potentially awesome transport corridor for profit, this time for a car park. Byron’s astroturf council, paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. I thought the Greens were supposed to be about long-term thinking rather than short-term profitability.

  5. Residents of Suffolk Park and Ballina Shire who work in the Industrial Estate can park at this multi storey carpark and catch a train to the Bayshore Drive train station, this will get cars off Shirley St and Ewingsdale Rd.
    The Butler St Bypass railway station can be built either behind Mitre 10 or behind the old butter factory building .

  6. Excellent. That area was used for timber storage when Ivor Rennie owned I and M Timbers and built the huge steel shed . There was storage shelters built on that SP2 zone to keep the timber dry . When I and M was taken over by the Box King I think it still remained as a storage area . A lease was taken from NSW Rail for use of this land that went halfway across the back of the big shed .

  7. Completely incorrect Geoff .. this would be a private car park to accompany another food retailer (highly possible to be paid or time limited). This is not a council car park.. The next step is to remove the three current businesses including Mitre 10 (and including the employees that work there). This second park will also likely have retail food outlets.

    All traffic entering and exiting will be from the new Browning/Jonson bypass. No bus stops, poor pedestrian access and no immediate plans for this part of the rail to be used.

  8. More parking is required for Byron Bay as the town grows its population.
    This facility could also be enhanced by a McDonald’s restaurant or similar.

  9. Regular commuter trains need to be returned urgently then two million visitors could leave their cars at home. Everything in Byron is within walking distance of the train station. Ditto Mullum and Bangalow.

    Reduced traffic would enhance livability for locals and visitors. The town would be safer for pedestrians and cyclists and there’d be no need for multi story car parks.

    Destroying the rail line for a bike track will not achieve anything other than wasting massive amounts of public money.

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