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Byron Shire
April 19, 2024

Buggering Byron

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Council’s ‘Buggering Byron Policy’ has moved to action, flapping ‘open and transparent community-led governance’ with one hand, while doing secret developer business with the other.

Last Thursday’s Council Meeting had seven different attachments of Development Control Plans (DCP) under the heading ‘housekeeping amendments’. The developments covered by the last attachment (publicly hidden in the Agenda under the vague title ‘Certain locations in Byron Bay and Ewingsdale’), weren’t minor ‘housekeeping amendments’, and included the major redevelopment of the Bayshore Drive Elements of Byron tourist resort site, to facilitate significantly increased tourist development on the present undeveloped grassed area, all the way to the end of the road, (and backing onto the new beachfront house blocks that also extend that far). 

Evidently the ‘Buggering Belongil Policy’ is a subset of Council’s ‘Concreting the Coast Policy’ – there’s no room for the Writers Festival on land now to be developed for dunefront houses and a vast increase of the site’s footprint of tourist accommodation. 

And who would have thought that the previous rabidly pro-development State Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, was more in-tune with the community’s aspirations, and the site’s environmental values, in 2006, with his Becton consent for fewer tourist cabins that are there now, and his requirement for 57ha to be handed to the adjacent Nature Reserve, than Byron Council in 2023?

The same ‘certain locations’ part includes Habitat, originally given consent as a light industrial site with an internal worker-focused canteen. With plenty of blah blah on affordability, community, and environment, this ‘housekeeping amendment’ covers planning parameters for 152 residential dwellings, retail shops, food and drink restaurants, hotels, motels, serviced tourist apartments, function centres, recreation facilities, gyms, Pilates studio, sauna, wellness centre, medical centres, and offices for solicitors and holiday letting agencies etc. The same planner who put in the original light industrial DA to Council, when privately employed by Geolink, then became employed by Council as Council’s Major Projects Officer. The Habitat site has now become higher revenue development. This DCP seems to be part of the councillor/developer business that’s best kept from the pesky residents.

Were you part of the community that raised concerns about development around the new Ewingsdale Rd hospital? Well, this same ‘certain locations’ description of unidentified sites, also included planning to facilitate development of the land adjoining the hospital site.

Other unidentified ‘certain locations’ bits were planning on coastal hazards, development of The Farm’s restaurants and retail site. And it adopted the ‘residential character narratives’ for Byron Bay, Sunrise and Wategos – if you submitted to them I’d check what’s been adopted, it may be that residents are required to ‘consume, be silent, and either die, or bugger off’.

John Lazarus, Byron Bay

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  1. I thought Byron had always supported buggery? And immigration. And the ‘right’ to housing. Now they wonder why all these moneyed people are being push out of where they come from, and ending up in Byron, thus wrecking the place. Quite the mystery.

  2. it’s Ironic that nobody wanted club med all those years back, now we got CLUB “Elements of Byron” who are hellbent on turning every bit of land into Tourist development, funny how our last Mayor used his casting vote to allow Elements to sell off the Beautiful land looking towards Mt Warning for housing development ,( the old writers festival area ) just before he resigned , no he works for planning NSW ….. Wake up people , the ratepayers of Byron are being treated like muppetts, the developers and Greedy resort owners are getting whatever they want .
    This beautiful land should NEVER be allowed for development , it will in the near future be affected by coastal erosion and flooding , as it has been flooded recently. Common sense is now on the endangered list……………

  3. This is underhanded dealings and should be shouted from the roof tops. Nowhere in this news is there actual affordable housing in the works to house those that make these bloodsuckers their stupid lattes.


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