14.1 C
Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

Eco-tourist facility refused at Sleepy Hollow as councillors try to clear DAs

Latest News

Curtains up on Byron High’s debut musical

After many months of hard work and rehearsing, Byron Bay High School students and staff  are about to perform...

Other News

Volunteer groups get funding

Fourteen projects led by volunteer groups have been awarded $300,000 through the Community Building Partnership Program, says local Greens MP, Tamara Smith.

Wiggle it for the solstice

A full moon ‘Winter Wiggle’ is on Saturday as the solstice tribe connect. They will be rocking Durrumbul Hall from 6pm till midnight with local legendary DJs: Pob, Halo, Ria Listic and 4 Eyes; plus special guests Daddy Issues  – making a road trip from the Central Coast; and Avaxa – will be slipping in a wiggle in her world festival schedule, flying up from Melbourne.

Yogaing out

Sadly, two of Byron’s best yoga studios close this month. Bamboo Yoga has been providing a beautiful space and...

Curtains up on Byron High’s debut musical

After many months of hard work and rehearsing, Byron Bay High School students and staff  are about to perform...

Contradicted council

Local government elections are scheduled for 14 September 2024 and ‘Team Cadwallader’ of Ballina Shire Council have scored an...

Byron business perspectives in a tough winter 

Having traded in Byron Bay for 47 years, Skallyrags owner, Rob Bass, said he’s never seen a winter like this one.

A DA for five cabins and an eco-tourist resort at 84 Sleepy Hollow Road, Sleepy Hollow was refused at the Tweed Council planning meeting (5 October, 2023). Image Google maps

A proposed eco-tourist facility with five cabins at Sleepy Hollow was refused by Tweed Shire councillors last week (5 October) following the mayor’s attempt to defer the decision. 

Tweed Mayor, Chris Cherry (Independent), moved an amendment to the motion to ‘refuse’ the development application and instead sought a ‘deferral’. This was seconded by councillor Dr Nola Firth (Greens). 

‘The amendment is to defer the item [is] to allow time for the applicant to provide further information that responds to the report [and to] previous RFIs (Request for Further Information) from our staff,’ explained Cr Cherry. 

Cr Cherry highlighted that there are often areas of grey in planning as there are in law and that this is a subjective interpretation of whether it meets both the definition and the requirements under clause 5.13 In our LEP (Local Environment Plan).

This proposal is located adjacent to an area that does contain an area of special ecological significance. So I think that’s the test. I think it does have a minimal impact on the environment. I think it’s a very small footprint and we’re talking about locating cabins in an area that has previously been a cattle grazing area and is a completely cleared area, said Cr Cherry.

We’re not going not talking about putting cabins up in the middle of a rainforest or having large access tracts that need to cut asset protection zones all through these forests. So I think in terms of the proposal, if this one doesn’t meet the definition [for eco-tourism in LEP] then I honestly don’t know what does.

When I look at previously approved eco-tourist facilities in our Shire they’re not so not so different to the one that’s being proposed here today. So I would like to give the proponent an opportunity to provide more information.

The amendment also asked staff to provide a report that would have attached the ‘potential conditions of consent’.  

Tweed Councillor Rhiannon Brinsmead. Photo Aslan Shand.

Backlog of DAs

Speaking to the amendment Councillor Rhiannon Brinsmead (Liberal) said she would not support it as this was the second time that a deferral was being sought for this DA. 

‘I can’t think of another instance where we have actually afforded a proponent, not one but two deferrals. I was supportive of the first deferral to give the applicant more time to come back. I don’t support two.’

Cr Brinsmead highlighted the backlog of DAs that Tweed Council, like many others, is struggling to process.

‘It is [also] about the DA backlog and I think that as the elected body we agreed that we would play our role in helping to reduce that,’ she reminded the meeting. 

‘These deficient DAs that remain in the system and take up staff time, they counterproductive to what we agreed to do. [This is] a deficient DA in what they’re proposing. I am by no means against what they’re proposing. But I think the staff’s report on this has not really changed between the first and second instance that it’s come back. I suspect it may not change much the third time around.’

Tweed Shire Councillor Chris Cherry. Photo Aslan Shand.

Both Councillor Warren Polglase (Conservative) and fellow Liberal councillor James Owen were also in agreement. 

Cr Owen said he felt councillors were ‘micromanaging’ the DA process and that councillors should leave more of the DAs to be approved by staff under delegation. However, this point was rejected by the mayor who pointed out that approximately 94 per cent of DAs were already approved or refused under delegated authority by Council staff. 

Firth votes against own amendment

Having listened to the arguments put forward against the amendment the Cr Firth had seconded she decided to vote against it. 

‘I am actually convinced by some of the arguments that have come today, and I won’t be voting for the amendment,’ she said.

The amendment was lost with only Cr Cherry voting in favour. The motion to refuse the DA was then approved with only Cr Cherry voting against.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Let people make a living in these hard times ..it astounds me all the red tape some have 2 jump through. And others don’t creat6a level playing field 4 all and unite

    • You speak cliche very well. One thing though, hoops we jump through, tape is usually jumped over. A little thing I know but if you want to be taken seriously…

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Wallum developer welcomes arrests

The developer behind the beleaguered Wallum urban subdivision on rare and sensitive land in Brunswick Heads welcomed the recent arrests of protectors who have blockaded the site over the last four months.

Fresh police appeal for witnesses in Gage Wilson case

Police have issued a fresh public appeal for witnesses in the case of missing Mullumbimby man Gage Wilson.

Ballina MP mostly welcomes state budget announcements

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed some of Labor’s funding announcements in last week’s state budget, including a new Fire and Rescue station for Byron Bay and more firies.

Daniel Mookhey walks the line with NSW budget

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey's second budget in nine months, unveiled last week, was a classic Labor document in its support for education and health, somewhat brave in its slugging of property investors, and disingenuous in its blaming of the GST carve-up for the financial woes of NSW going forward.