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Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Large mixed use Suffolk DA on public exhibition

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Locals are saying that the DA is an overdevelopment of the site that will lead to further gridlock of rads and is not in line with the character of the area.

A DA (development application) for 23 residential units, plus retail and hospitality outlets in Suffolk Park, is before the public until June 28.

It is located next to the existing commercial precinct on Clifford Street. The developer undertook consultation with immediate neighbours in November 2021, and while there were many in favour of the development within the consultation report, The Echo received feedback from neighbours that the DA relies on outdated flood levels, and could exacerbate traffic issues.

Up to 26 native trees are earmarked for removal, and consultants, paid for by the developer, claim the littoral rainforest is degraded and therefore not significant.   

The site is located within a Byron Shire Council wildlife corridor network ‘which links up to Tallow Creek and associated estuarine and terrestrial habitat’. The area is also listed as an ‘Endangered ecological community’.

According to documents from DA 10.2022.137.1, the proposal is from Denwol Suffolk Pty Ltd, ‘a Sydney-based diversified property group owned by Phillip Wolanski’.

The engineering report proposes demolishing nine existing structures and constructing ‘two new three-storey buildings, incorporating seven townhouses, four units, twelve affordable housing units and 300m2 of commercial space. The subject site has a total footprint of 4,060m2’.

Affordable housing

Within the community engagement report included in the DA, one resident said, ‘I’m dubious about affordable housing. The Byron community has had those assurances before, and it hasn’t come to fruition as promised’.

In reply, the developer’s representative said, ‘We have committed to allocating 12 of the 16 units in the building fronting Clifford Street to key worker housing. This will include a mixture of one, two and three bedroom units. The commitment is for a minimum of fifteen years in line with the legislation. The affordable housing units will be managed by a third party accredited affordable housing provider’.

According to www.nsw.gov.au, the metric for affordable housing is ‘generally up to 25 per cent below the price of similar homes in the area you’re looking to rent, or, set at no more than 30 per cent of your income before tax’.

Flooding and stormwater

As for stormwater management, the DA says, ‘All runoff from the roof and paved areas shall be directed towards Clifford Street to the south via a pit-and-pipe network’.

The Echo asked the developer’s media spokesperson if the DA relies on flood estimations that were in place previous to the recent floods, to which they replied, ‘Yes, the DA was prepared prior to the floods’.

The Echo also asked, ‘Has the developer been asked by Council to update the DA in accordance with the new 2022 levels?’

They replied, ‘We are not aware of any changes or proposed changed in flood planning however if/when these occur we will respond accordingly. The application is currently under assessment and Council can come back with more RFIs (requests for information)’.

Traffic increases

As for increased traffic, the DA’s traffic report claims, ‘It believed that the proposed development would result in increases in traffic volumes onto Clifford Street of 28.05 trips/h (morning peak); 27.42 trips/h (afternoon peak) and 189.84 trips/ day (daily increase) respectively. In accordance with Clause 2 of Section B.2.14 of the DCP, this constitutes a “moderate” impact’.

Sustainability

When asked about sustainable building aspirations, such as water tanks and solar, the spokesperson replied, ‘The design incorporates solar panels and water tanks. The configuration of the apartments and townhouses maximise north orientation and cross ventilation. Careful selection of materials and fittings together with the primary focus on retention of existing mature native trees and new offset planting will all contribute to a reduced carbon footprint’.

A variation to Clause 4.4 – Floor Space Ratio of the BLEP 2014 and clause 17 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing) 2021 (the Housing SEPP) is also sought by the developer.

For more info, visit www.9-15cliffordstreet.com.au or search for DA 10.2022.137.1 on Byron Council’s DA Tracker website.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. This is an abomination for this spot. There really needs to be a rethink on cramming the maximum amount of development on each square metre of land when there is no allowance made for the lack of infrastructure in place to deal with the increased population and movement.

    In peak visitor times and daily at certain times, it is a nightmare trying to get out of Suffolk Park, with traffic not just banked up the entire length of Clifford St but also the feeder streets of Armstrong, Brandon and Alcorn.

    The slight, badly overdue, changes on the Clifford/Broken Head Rd intersection have perhaps made it slightly safer (arguable) but they have done nothing to make access and egress any easier for the residents. Our Council has ignored the problem for decades while the problem just gets worse and while coast Rd in the Ballina Shire section has seen a mushrooming of efficient roundabouts at every intersection that presents an issue.

    We know a roundabout there has problems but for heaven’s sake put in some traffic lights! The population here has largely moved on from the strange counter culture (?) view of them that says some vague objection to symbolism(?) takes preference over safety and a small coastal village experiencing worse than capital city traffic snarls.

    Don’t think about approving even half these ambitions without addressing AT LEAST that intersection. Then introduce resident parking permits so there is some hope of having two-way traffic in the streets.

  2. Only in uber rich enclaves do we get these objections regarding building more shops in a commercial zone. Every house in that area is $2m+ and there is next to no services or job opportunities for people in the area. Its a very unsustainable set up. More local shops and co-working spaces are desperately needed in places like suffolk, federal, clunes and mullum. We just lost an entire CBD of shops in lismore!

    • I cgaf about shops in commercial zones – the fewer things I have to go into Byron Bay to do the better with the traffic situation. I don’t care if there is more housing either. If you look at the objections they are about heights – how much do you want the Shire limits to be cribbed ever upwards. – and infrastructure. It’s called good urban planning and I’d like some of that. If that’s NIBYism I’m guilty.

  3. You’ve got to be joking…

    The congestion at the corner of Clifford st is already ridiculous at peak times.

    Just another rich clown trying to make money off this area.

  4. All developments in the Shire needs to consider the demands on their respective sewerage treatment works (STP) as well as demands on potable water, transport infrastructure and public facilities such as schools, hospitals etc.
    With respect to the STP it is critical that information on the process monitoring of the treatment is part of any assessment by Council’s sewerage staff i.e. ammonia levels, nitrates and phosphorous NOT just an EPA license requirement being satisfied. The former relates to how well or not the STP is operating. The latter must be carefully considered in terms of where the testing point is located if it is to have any credibility. In the case of this proposed development it would be of worth to consider the additional load on the internal workings of the plant rather than anything else.

  5. Hilarious, some elitist resident/s is concerned about the validity, or the developers commitment to deliver ‘affordable housing’ within the development proposal. Turn it up, the last thing these wankers (residents) want is a whole lot of affordable housing on their doorstep. God forbid, some every-day-joe might move into the neighbourhood

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