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Byron Shire
February 26, 2024

Another big DA waved through at EPIQ

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Newly finished terracing and roadworks for ‘Live/Work’ development at Lennox Head’s EPIQ Estate. Photo David Lowe.

After a short debate, Ballina Shire Council gave the green light to another major development at EPIQ Estate in Lennox Head yesterday.

DA 2021/712 is described by the proponent as a ‘Live/Work Development’, which means 26 three storey dwellings with space for the occupants to do some work, beyond what can happen on a kitchen table or desk. The site is on newly terraced land above the creek in what was formerly farmland, not far from the EPIQ shopping centre on Hutley Drive.

Cr Phil Meehan spoke in support of the development, saying it provided various lot sizes and more affordable housing, as well as opportunities for people to work from home. He said the lack of submissions from the public could be taken as support for the development (although seven of the eight submissions received were strongly opposed).

There were complaints about the small block sizes, building height being inappropriate for the area, traffic impacts, insufficient infrastructure and car parking, and lack of consultation or care for existing neighbours.

EPIQ live/work development height encroachmentAlthough the development technically breaches council’s own height rules, Cr Meehan argued there was no public benefit in strictly enforcing the height standard.

Cr Simon Chate asked staff if the height adjustment would set a precedent. Planning officer Matthew Wood said no, as tests were applied to all development standard variations, which were assessed individually.

More on the way?

Ballina Mayor Sharon Cadwallader is the new Northern Rivers Joint Organisation Chair. Photo David Lowe.

Mayor Sharon Cadwallader said this type of live/work development would become increasingly popular.

‘The diversity that it offers to the housing stock, I think it’s a great way forward.’

Referencing the debate following Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg’s recent assertion that local development should go vertical, she said, ‘We’re looking at all options and this is just another one. I think it ticks a box of saying yes, this is just another way that we can address the situation of housing and making it more affordable.’

The motion to greenlight the development was passed unanimously.

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