Barham scathing of Becton



BECTON are determined to forge ahead with their $100 million plans to develop at Belongil Beach, despite calls to sell the land and leave town.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham's call for Becton to sell-up follows failed talks last week on the future of the former Club Med resort site.

"Becton withheld information from us for hours last week," she said.

"They were stupid to treat us like that.

"I don't feel they've respected our processes."

Cr Barham said Becton owner Hamish Macdonald had indicated to her he was open to selling the site, as well as joint ventures on the property.

"He said 'yeah, sure, everything's for sale'," she said.

Cr Barham said businesses had a responsibility to ensure that they were not 'out of character' with Byron Shire.

"Our culture is a valuable asset and as such it should be protected," she said.

Mr Macdonald, however, said Becton's plan for holiday homes was in keeping with the character of the town and wants to press ahead with the project.

"We've put a lot of time and effort into developing something we think is overtly respectful of Byron Bay," Mr Macdonald said.

"More so than other developments.

"Given the size of the land and environmental protection, we have met a high level of sustainable design criteria."

Mr Macdonald said he had not been approached to sell the property.

"I don't know what joint ventures Jan Barham is talking about.

"If Jan Barham wants to buy it, or knows someone who does ? tell them to talk to us."

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