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Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

Large Wilsons Creek Community Title given green light

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Plans for a 15-lot housing development in Wilsons Creek will proceed to the next stage of the planning process, without further amendment, despite the community expressing concerns around flooding and traffic safety.

Byron councillors gave the planning proposal for a Community Title (CT) development at 31 Alidenes Road a preliminary green light at last week’s planning meeting.

This means the proposal will now go to the NSW Department of Planning for sign off before moving to the development application stage.

The Sydney-based developer of the property is seeking to amend the Local Environment Plan to permit a Community Title development of up to 15 lots on the site.

There would also be one ‘association’ lot that includes part of Yankee Creek waterway and the surrounding riparian zone.

The considerable public opposition to the plan was evident from the responses to a recent public exhibition period, which drew 42 submissions.

At last week’s meeting, Cr Basil Cameron moved that the proposal be sent back to the developer, so that concerns about traffic in the streets around the site could be addressed more directly.

These concerns included the lack of consideration for cyclists and pedestrians in the plan, the failure to acknowledge relevant accident and crash data, and the absence of any steps being taken to ameliorate the risk to school children.

‘The road safety audit for this planning proposal identified 14 separate risks, but all of them came from the perspective of drivers and other vehicle traffic’, Cr Cameron said.

Pedestrian safety ignored

‘It almost completely ignored pedestrian safety…’

‘It’s at the planning proposal stage that we really need to get some of this stuff in’.

But Cr Cameron’s amendment was unsuccessful.

Instead, a majority of councillors voted for a significantly watered down version, under which the developer would be ‘advised’ that the traffic safety matters would ‘need to be considered’ at the Development Application stage.

‘Apologies to those in public access who expressed their concerns honestly and fairly’, Byron’s interim Mayor Michael Lyon said.

‘I’ve been down to the site, and I think this DA is ultimately going to come down to what the site can handle’.

Cr Cameron said the applicants were now unlikely to make any changes to the planning proposal.

‘I think just noting this is “feel good” for some, but I can’t see it leading to anything substantive in terms of being a fair representation of community views,’ he said.

‘If we want real change, we need to get it in at the planning proposal stage and we haven’t done that’.

Cr Lyon moved an amendment, which was voted for by Crs Martin, Ndiaye, Lyon, Hunter, Spooner and Hackett. Opposed were Crs  Cameron and Coorey.

The amendment then became the motion, and all councillors voted in favour.

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