27.1 C
Byron Shire
February 29, 2024

Creative definition of affordable housing before Byron Council 

Latest News

Investment fraud charges – Gold Coast

Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested and charged five people in relation to an alleged ‘boiler room’ investment fraud operating on the Gold Coast.

Other News

Damning 2022 flood housing audit released for Northern NSW

A performance audit of how effectively, or not, the NSW government provided emergency accommodation and temporary housing in response to the 2022 floods has been released by the NSW Audit Office. 

Tried catching a bus to TAFE or work in the Northern Rivers – it’s a serious challange

Getting around the Northern Rivers is no easy task without your own transport. Young people are unable to attend TAFE, and you can’t catch public transport to work due to the impossible timing of, and lack of access to, public transport. 

Mullumbimby men’s team well placed to defend local water polo championship

The Mullumbimby men’s water polo team sit on top of the Far North Coast competition table after beating their major rivals, the Alstonville Rattle Snakes 8–4, earlier this week.

Protections can’t wait another seven years for NSW critical habitat 

Protections are needed now for native habitat in NSW as the state has seen a significant increase in native...

Defacing artworks

Mullumbimby is a colourful place. We love all the events, workshops, activities and markets – it all adds to...

Clothing-optional at Tyagarah Beach

I am writing to object to Byron Shire Council’s intention to revoke the clothing-optional status of Tyagarah Beach. I grew...

Concept drawing of farm stay buildings at Saddle Road.

Will Byron’s planning rules once again stymie an attempt to address the Shire’s housing affordability crisis?

A development application (DA 10.2020.574.1is (again) coming before this week’s planning meeting, which attempts to use ‘farm stay’ accommodation to provide affordable housing for students enrolled in agriculture-related courses.

Submitted by Greens councillor candidate, Matthew O’Reilly, the application is for six self-contained cabins and a shared central facility at 219 Saddle Road, Brunswick Heads.

Mr O’Reilly is proposing that two of the units be used for temporary affordable housing 12 months of the year, and that the remaining four be used in this way for a minimum of nine months a year.

Matthew O’Reilly. Photo Tree Faerie.

Narrative challenged

‘This proposal challenges the narrative that only tourism can occur in rural zones and not affordable housing’, Mr O’Reilly previously told The Echo.

But the plan appears to have hit a solid brick wall in the form of State and local planning rules, at least as they are being interpreted by Council staff.

They have recommended that Council impose a condition that students and others can only live in the accommodation for a maximum of three months.

‘Farm stay accommodation must be on a short-term basis’, Council’s manager of sustainable development, Chris Larkin, said in the staff report on the application.

‘By its definition, farm stay accommodation cannot provide accommodation for a person as their principal place of residence – it is only for tourists and visitors.

‘Therefore, to satisfy the definition under section 54A of the Fair Trading Act, the accommodation can only be provided for up to three months and the condition is reasonable.’

In slightly better news for Mr O’Reilly, the application appears to have overcome road access and safety issues, which led councillors to defer the matter when it came before them earlier this year.

‘It is considered that the matters relating to access and egress from the site can be appropriately managed,’ Mr Larkin said in his report.

‘The driveway entrance is to be designed and constructed to direct traffic northwards towards the Gulgan Road Interchange, and for traffic to approach the site for this development from the same direction’.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

How to supply water to the increasing population?

It is predicted that the next 40 years will see the demand for water increase by 50 per cent in the local government areas that Rous County Council supply with water.

Protections can’t wait another seven years for NSW critical habitat 

Protections are needed now for native habitat in NSW as the state has seen a significant increase in native habitat clearing following the NSW...

Appeal following attempted abduction – Tweed Heads

Investigators are appealing for public assistance as investigations continue into an attempted abduction in Tweed Heads at the weekend.

Floodplain fury

With the two-year flood anniversary being recognised this week, Council appears to be pushing on with its plans to seek approval from the state government for floodplain development in Mullumbimby.