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Illegal backpacker hostel closed

BYRON Shire Council says it has shut down an illegal backpackers hostel in an industrial unit at Byron Bay's Arts and Industry Estate.

The council, which has issued a court attendance notice to a Byron Bay man over the unit, says it was being used to accommodate up to 20 backpackers.

The council is accusing the man of breaching planning laws by operating a backpackers without approval and in an area not zoned for tourist accommodation.

The council says it warned the man in February he could not run a backpackers in the unit and then returned to search it, along with police and firefighters, on April 16, after a surveillance operation and complaints from neighbours.

The council alleges the search found no fire alarms in the unit and locked exits. There were mattresses throughout the unit and some construction was being done.

The man is due to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on Thursday, May 24.


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