Battle over ocean views

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

sturnbull@northernstar.com.au

TEMPERS are soaring in one of Byron Bay's most prestigious streets over plans for a $1.5 million home that neighbours say would ruin their coveted ocean views.

The Kirwan family has submitted a development application to the Byron Shire Council for the demolition of their Wategos Marine Parade home to make way for a new two-storey building, garage and swimming pool.

Grahame Latham, who lives behind the Kirwans, spoke against the proposal at last week's council meeting on behalf of neighbouring property owners afraid of losing their multi-million dollar ocean views.

"The value of my land will decrease significantly," Mr Latham told the council.

"The issue for us is we're all there for one reason, to have our views. We request the height of the dwelling be further reduced by one metre."

The Kirwans were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Councillors voted in favour of a staff recommendation to approve the DA, however Cr Richard Staples has since lodged a rescission motion to have the matter debated again at the next ordinary council meeting.

Cr Staples said the Kirwan family needed to tone down its plans.

"The house is too big for the site. All of the problems could be solved with a little less ambitious building," he said.

"We're told this is an average-size house, but it's about five times the size of an average house 20 years ago.

"It's not necessary to have a laundry. My house doesn't have a laundry."

Cr Bob Tardif said he feared fighting the DA would lead to an unsuccessful court battle. "Here we go again. Let's go to court with something that is totally unsupportable," he said.

"Councillors are worried about the size, but this is a four bedroom residence ? the owners have three teenage children. We couldn't possibly go to the Land and Environment Court and expect to win this."



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