Byron mayor's threat to shut $45m resort
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
BYRON Shire mayor Jan Barham has threatened to temporarily shut down Gerry Harvey's $45 million Broken Head Road resort after he failed to gain council approval for the development's on-site sewerage system.
The Byron at Byron resort, spa and conference centre opened for business on Christmas Eve, despite not having final council approval.
The sewerage plans are on public display and cannot be given final approval until the end of the month. Cr Barham said the resort should therefore not be operating.
"It's a defiance of the rules," she said.
"The final occupancy certificate could only be given to the developers when all the boxes had been ticked ? and they haven't been."
Cr Barham said the council would write a letter to Mr Harvey advising him the business was operating without approval.
"They will then have to show just cause as to why they are operating," she said.
"One would hope that, if they're mistaken about their right to be open, they would voluntarily cease operating."
Cr Barham said if Mr Harvey then refused to close the resort's doors, the council would take further action to shut it down.
"However, I hope we can sit down and speak with them before it comes to that," Cr Barham said.
Mr Harvey could not be contacted yesterday, and resort general manager John Parche would not comment. Sydney-based project manager Gary Dent said he believed the resort was operating legally.
"I'm not a legal person, but we believe we've complied with everything," he said.
"It's a complicated development, but everything has been certified."
Mr Dent said the developers' relationship with council would remain unscathed by Cr Barham's accusations.
"From our point of view the relationship hasn't been affected," Mr Dent said.
"The council does a good job ? especially its staff. We have a very good relationship with the council officers."