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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Planning staff back Wilsons Creek DA, residents’ concerns downplayed

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The 15 lot community title sub-division site on Alidenes Road, Wilsons Creek.

Residents living near a proposed 15-lot housing development in Wilsons Creek say it will negatively impact a precious wildlife corridor on the site, exacerbate traffic safety problems on the surrounding roads, and damage the peaceful character of their quiet enclave.

The concerns were among a raft of issues raised in relation to the Community Title (CT) development proposed for 31 Alidenes Road.

But Council planning staff argue that none of the concerns warrants refusal of the plan at this stage of the process, recommending that councillors give it a preliminary green light when the matter comes before this week’s planning meeting.

The development is at the planning proposal stage, with the Sydney-based owners seeking to amend the Local Environment Plan (LEP) for this part of the Shire, to permit a Community Title development of up to 15 lots.

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

There is considerable public opposition to the plan, as evidenced by the 42 responses to a recent public exhibition period.

A key concern expressed in the submissions was the impact of the proposed development on Yankee Creek.

‘Yankee Creek needs to be managed and protected,’ a summary of the public submissions states.

Wildlife corridor

‘The creek and woodland act as wildlife corridor. A number of threatened species have been recorded in the area, as well as koalas. 

‘To protect the threatened species recorded, the creek lines need to be revegetated with riparian rainforest species and reed beds.’

But Council’s Land Use Planning co-ordinator, Alex Caras, said that the planning proposal already required the waterway and riparian buffers to remain in one lot with common ownership and management. 

‘This is consistent with the environmental Policy Direction 2.4 of Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy 2017,’ Mr Caras said. ‘A vegetation management plan also will be required at the subdivision DA stage’.

Another concern expressed in the submissions was the traffic safety impact of the development.

Residents said that there were already some significant safety issues on the surrounding roads, which would be exacerbated by a significant increase in daily vehicle movements.

These issues included a blind curve on Wilsons Creek Road near the Alidenes Rd turn-off. The road at this intersection needed to be sealed, and street lighting, reflectors, road markings and safety signs installed, they said. 

But Mr Caras said a Road Safety Audit (RSA) and Traffic Impact Assessment (TSA), undertaken for the planning proposal, had given it a clean bill of health.  

‘An internal review of these documents and the proposed intersection treatments found these to be satisfactory and within acceptable performance standards,’ he said.

Residents further expressed the view that the bulk, scale and character of the development was not consistent with the existing development in the area and would impact on its peaceful nature.

‘This is especially the case once creek path and flood zones, riparian buffers, sewerage, driveways, power and other facilities are factored in,’ they said.

‘The development will resemble a residential estate, which is not in keeping with the existing area.’

In response to this, Mr Caras said the proposed 15 dwellings represented the maximum carrying capacity of the site.

‘Achieving this with acceptable environmental impacts will need to be demonstrated at the DA stage’, he said.

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  1. Sound replies to concerns that I can understand but are probably not based in truth. Often CT developments require a higher level of revegetation and repair than normal developments and so if anything the proposal will probably enhance the wildlife corridor and biodiversity of the site. There is already an existing higher level of rural residential development off Adelines Road.

  2. Road Safety Audit (RSA)
    I am excited! Is there such a thing?
    Who is in charge of this procedures?
    Have they ever visited other countries with roads?

  3. Byron Bay Council just pushed through rezoning. Dozens of local residents submitted objections, held socially distanced street meetings, wrote letters and submissions, and universally opposed putting a new 15 house subdivision on flood prone land and a wildlife biodiversity corridor along Yankee Creek. In return, we were given 3 days notice about the final meeting, by the now disendorsed ex-Green Mayor. (Whose term is actually up, yet miraculously still somehow sits, thanks to the rolling of democracy in New South Wales, Australia.) We see this move as a shocking but predictable money grab by a Sydney developer taking advantage of our notorious housing bubble situation to basically build condominiums on swampland. It won’t create any sustainable housing or help ease the housing crisis as rents will be $1,000 per week or more, and Byron Bay LGA is the most expensive real estate in Australia. This is the council’s new template for the future of Wilsons Creek and all of Byron Bay, so I guess we better start looking out.


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