A proposal to build 14 townhouses and eight swimming pools on constrained land at 103 Paterson Street, Byron Bay, has been refused unanimously by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP). The NRPP is an unelected consent authority that normally overrides Council decision making for large developments valued over $30m.
Yet in this case, the proposal by Hunter Hopkins Project 7 Pty Ltd included using Council-owned community land for stormwater management, and according to Council planning staff, this triggered the ‘regional development category and the DA [requires] to be determined by the NRPP’.
The NRPP determination was made on June 23 and, according to the panel’s website, the panel comprised Paul Mitchell (Chair), Penny Holloway, Stephen Gow, Joe Vescio and David Brown.
Residents flagged their concerns for DA 10.2020.474.1, and were supported by a Council staff recommendation for refusal, which was based on 19 issues.
The panel refused the application owing to a lack of owner’s consent needed for ‘proposed works on SP 47184’, an unacceptable accessibility grade of the proposed driveway, and inadequate parking spaces for units H3, T3, T4 and T5
Additionally, ‘Post-development runoff velocities and volumes will be higher than pre-development ones…’ and ‘the height of unit H4 exceeds the building height standard in the Byron LEP 2014’.
‘The panel notes that many other problematic issues were identified in the Council’s assessment report, some of which could justify refusal. All the identified issues would need to be addressed in any revised application.
Deferral appeal by developer declined
‘The panel also notes that in certain key respects the submitted plans were inconsistent or of poor quality.
‘The applicant requested that the panel defer its determination to allow the applicant to submit additional and amended information to address unresolved issues.
‘The panel declined to grant a deferral believing that more than sufficient time has been provided to address the issues in question’.
In coming to its decision, the panel said it considered written submissions made during public exhibition.
The panel said that issues of concern included: ‘Owner’s consent not granted for drainage works on private property; No easement for drainage works, flooding and stormwater; Fill will remove flood storage capacity; Obstruction/reduction of the natural flow of stormwater; Future flood damage; Overdevelopment, inappropriate scale in location, traffic and parking inadequacies; Noise from people using proposed dwellings and pools/pool pumps; Use of the development for holiday letting; Use of public land; Biodiversity, loss of mature trees; Sustainability, energy, water; A-ccess and mobility; Lack of common property; Insufficient boundary setbacks; Overlooking; Inadequate landscaping; Poor character and amenity; Adverse cumulative impacts; Dangerous access, risks to pedestrian safety; Non-compliance with legislation and other instruments’.