Howard Simson, Stockholm, Sweden
My wife, Ingrid Simson, of house #24 at Linnaeus Estate has filed her objection to this DA.
I wish to make it clear that I also object to the transformation of Linnaeus Estate into an exclusive tourist resort with a fancy restaurant.
Stephen Connell’s Statement of Environmental Effects Report (the Report) begins ‘by acknowledging and paying our respects to the Bundjalung people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are planning. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging’. To the best of my knowledge the Bundjalung people have never been consulted by Stephen and Brandon Saul.
Owing to its closeness to the Centre, our house #24 will be in a very precarious position as a result of the transformation of the existing centre into a high class restaurant and bar. I have been told by Linnaeus management that the expectation is that Harvest (harvest.com.au) is likely to be the restaurant operator. Harvest has been very successful, and are very expansive, in Newrybar. Provided they can bring in the guests, it will be very successful at Linnaeus Etsate. The planning includes a new balcony on the existing centre building for people to wine and dine – before long there could be ‘eco’ weddings and other activities adding to the endless noise and other pollution created by the functioning of the restaurant and hospitality business in general.
On page 26 of the Report there is a remarkable and inexplicable statement that: ‘Council have also advised that no additional parking would be required for the proposed restaurant as it is ancillary to the accommodation’. This is all that is said about the restaurant in the whole report! The parking requirements in Table 3.5 include nothing for restaurant employees or guests. Only ten additional parking spaces are included for guests of guests and day visitors. Are we a really to believe that restaurant guests and employees don’t need parking spaces? The failure of the DA to analyse the ‘restaurant’ is a deliberate deception. Please ask the planners to explore the full impact of the restaurant, spa and wellbeing centre – and their guests and employees – on the environment, including noise and other pollution. Consider analysing the daily number of guests visiting The Farm (outside Byron Bay) and Harvest (in Newrybar) and draw your conclusions about the future of Linnaeus Estate.
Lastly, will the current owners need to book a time, long in advance, to play tennis on the only court and to have a swim in the pool owing to overcrowding? It will not surprise me if the next DA will be for a nine-hole golf course and a heliport.
I doubt I will see another wallaby or echidna at post-resort Linnaeus!
In conclusion, I believe that the DA is for an exclusive resort, the ‘eco’ is mainly a pretention, and the original educational purpose of Linnaeus Estate will be overridden forever.
Please reject the DA.