As the developers of the West Byron housing estates fuel up their concrete trucks, a smaller residential developer has quietly concocted plans for prime real estate on Ewingsdale Road.
A Binna Burra-based group calling themselves the ‘310 Property Trust’ has purchased a 4,388-square-metre site in the middle of the two West Byron projects.
On July 11, they submitted a Development Application (DA) to Byron Council for a 20-unit housing development, complete with a basement carpark for 45 cars, which is estimated to cost just under $15 million.
The DA, for 310 Ewingsdale Road, is currently on public exhibition and can be viewed and commented on via Council’s website.
While the proposed development is far less impactful than its monstrous neighbours, it is not without controversy.
Three of the five buildings proposed, as part of the plan, exceed the height limit for that part of Byron, following the long-running trend of Byron developers seeking to push the envelope when it comes to rules covering building size and scale.
The planners contracted by the developer, Sydney-based company Planning Ingenuity, have sought to justify the proposed exceedance by asserting that it only applies to ‘some minor parts of the roof’.
Height limit exceedance
‘The development will have no detrimental physical impacts to neighbouring land,’ Planning Ingenuity states in the application for permission to exceed the rules.
‘[It] will not result in overshadowing, overlooking or changes to the context and setting which would compromise amenity or future development potential.’
‘As such, there is no public benefit in maintaining strict numeric compliance with the development standard…’
Interestingly, the planners also argued that the development’s ‘bulk and scale will reflect the anticipated and emerging residential character of the West Byron Urban Release Area,’ indicating that they are relying on the two highly-controversial West Byron developments as a precedent for their plans.
This raises the question of whether other developers will also seek to use West Byron as a justification for exceeding development standards.
The proposed development will also require the removal of 19 trees that are considered to have high retention value, owing to their contribution to the broader biodiversity character of the locality.
Planning Ingenuity has sought to justify this on the grounds that the biodiversity of the site has already been ‘disrupted’ by clearing undertaken in preparation for one of the West Byron developments.
Proposal justified as biodiversity ‘already disrupted’
‘Nine trees are proposed to be retained and incorporated into the new landscaping of the site,’ Planning Ingenuity adds.
‘The trees to be retained are all native species.’
The application will remain on public exhibition until August 9. To comment, go to Council’s DA tracker website, search for the application using the address or DA number 10.2023.244.1.