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Byron Shire
September 26, 2023

Developer quietly revises large Suffolk DA

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Phillip Wolanski, Managing Director of Denwol Group. Photo realestate.com.au

The company behind a controversial mixed-use development in the heart of Suffolk Park has quietly submitted revised plans for the proposal as part of the ongoing court battle over the matter.

Sydney-based developer, Denwol Pty Ltd, took Byron Council to the Land & Environment Court after it refused their plans to build two new three-storey buildings, containing 16 units, seven town houses and 300m2 of commercial space at 9–15 Clifford Street.

Council had set out 17 separate reasons for refusing the development application when it was originally submitted last year, including factors related to the environmental impacts, design, bushfire risk and affordable housing claims.

With the formal court hearing getting underway last week, Denwol made an application to the court to submit amended plans for the project.

This followed an amended DA that was submitted in April which involved a significant reduction in the size of the development.

Published on Council’s website, these amended plans involve reducing in the number of residential apartments from 16 to seven, and the number of town houses from seven to six. There would be two retail tenancies.

Both buildings are reduced to two-storeys in the amended plans, though there is little difference in the overall height of the development.

There is also a significant increase in how far the buildings will be set back from the road, though this will require more trees to be cut down.

Resident, Lynne Richardson, said that the amended plans represented little change in practical terms because the overall footprint of the development was ‘much the same’.

Community excluded

She also said that the process by which the most recent amendment had been submitted had excluded the community.

‘I was enraged by the process,’ Ms Richardson said. 

‘The only community members who were actually told were those who were due to give evidence during the hearing, and we were only given a few days’ notice to get our heads around the plans before doing that.

‘[Council’s lawyers, Marsdens] only told us a few days before we were due to give evidence, and they asked us to respect the confidentiality of the developer by not disseminating the new plans more widely. In my opinion, the newly modified plans should have been more widely circulated to the community. This affects all of them so they should have been told.’

The Echo understands that Council will continue to contest the matter in court, despite the submission of the modified plans by the developer.

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