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Byron Shire
March 1, 2024

Byron Council to ‘draw a line’ under Broken Head development

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Byron Shire Council Mayor, Michael Lyon, will attempt to have a large part of the Linnaeus Estate given a new Environmental Living zoning in a bid to prevent further applications for development there.

The stunning 111-hectare estate has been a source of angst and controversy in recent years thanks to a series of changing development proposals that some feel have diverged considerably, and inappropriately, from the original vision for the site.

Cr Lyon will move a motion at this week’s Council meeting which proposes ‘drawing a line’ under the matter by rezoning a significant part of the land from SP1 Mixed Use to a C4 Environmental Living Zone.

This would be done with the aim of ensuring that ‘no additional development can be undertaken on the site other than the existing approved land uses’.

‘Linnaeus is one of these legacy items that we were landed with in the last term of Council,’ Cr Lyon said.

‘We have had several goes at trying to draw a line under it without success.

‘The latest DA approval from the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) has created a use on the site that had not been approved under the 1988 LEP and was not envisioned as part of the transfer into the 2014 LEP.’

‘Whilst it is clear that there has been disagreement between various landowners and parties involved, both internal and external, it is my hope that a resolution can be reached such that future Councils are not burdened with trying to sort it out.’

The ‘DA approval’ referred to by Cr Lyon is the 8 November decision by the NRPP to grant consent for 27 new ecotourist facility cabins, seven additional buildings; including a wellness facility, and other associated works.

The panel also granted the owner’s change of use request, under which 14 education accommodation units will now become tourist accommodation.

The decision, and the application itself, angered a significant number of people within the Broken Head community and beyond, who felt that it represented an attempt to turn Linnaeus into a tourism development.

The owners dispute this.

Should Cr Lyon’s motion be successful, the landowners will be ‘requested to submit any required technical studies for the site to support the proposed rezoning and at a standard to Council’s satisfaction, to enable an assessment to be undertaken by or before April 2023.’

A gateway assessment will then be prepared for submission to the Department of Planning.

Community consultation for the planning proposal would be undertaken following the issue of the gateway determination.

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  1. How extraordinary? Or is it? ICAC is the highest line of legal authority and this issue bespeaks the need for a legal line of Authority to govern inappropriate Developments and the protocols and procedures that lead to such questionable outcomes.
    Furthermore, we note that the ‘community will be consulted”…this should always be the appropriate procedure before changing definitions related to ‘development’. Such a line of Authority (ICAC) would not only educate Council but address the growing Cronyism that is dictating not only Council but democratic community Rights. Time and money is again wasted whilst homelessness dominates the region. There is self interested Cronyism emanating from this development and Councillors may find themselves used as Pawns in the whole present dynamic. Should changes be made …this will be a perfect example of a band aid on a Crony shark bite. A bad look! for the future. But how very clever of the Cronies to back step deeper scrutiny!


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