John Lazarus, Byron Bay
When’s a building’s fourth storey not a fourth storey? Answer: when Byron Council says it isn’t (after a developer asks them to).
A new fourth storey was approved for the bottom-of-Jonson-Street mall development, now under construction, after previous consent was given for a ten metre height, which already breached the adopted LEP’s nine metre height restriction. The height of the new roof’s ‘recreational facilities’ is approximately 12.5m high in this nine metre zone.
The Council planner’s report responded to submissions opposing the fourth storey by denying that it was a fourth storey, because ‘The rooftop recreational facilities do not constitute a fourth storey, which is defined as a space between one floor level and the floor level above’. Ah no, actually a next level higher room, with a roof over it, is defined as a next storey, and ‘the rooftop recreational facilities’, as well as a pool, have toilets and change rooms, with roofs over them, on the new fourth storey.
So you can build fourth storey rooms on a roof, but they aren’t a fourth storey – everyone clear with that? I wonder how big you can build not-fourth-storey-rooms as rooms on a fourth storey… perhaps ballroom and amphitheatre size?
A bit confused? Then perhaps the adopted planning parameters in Council’s recently adopted Byron Bay Town Centre Planning Report, can clarify the situation. That Report says, ‘A nine metre zone facilitates two storeys’. No that doesn’t help, this development is in a nine metre zone but is approximately 12.5m and has four storeys.
Perhaps it is in that Report’s ‘Adopted’ required ratio of construction/open space? No, this development has more construction space and less open space than the Report’s development restrictions. Further confused? No, you’re not really, you $ort of know what’$ going on.
Of the Councillors standing for re-election, Cr Cameron voted against, Cr Coorey, (who has conscientiously voted against the previous incremental height increases), was away, Cr Ndiaye took a ten minute break and didn’t vote (not to be seen to further support this development that she has previously voted for?), and next Council aspirants, Lyon and Martin, joined the rest of the Councillors to pass this DA. An example of their commitment to building a bright new future of ‘no rules for developers’ if re-elected.
Though perhaps they just haven’t got their head around how everything works, and were confusing storeys with stories.