Pyrrhic victory for Belongil man
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
HE HAS fought for four-and-a-half years at countless council meetings and in court, and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Now Belongil resident John Vaughn finally has the green light from the Byron Shire Council for a 15unit development in Cavanbah Street, Byron Bay, between Belongil and Main beaches.
However, the victory is bittersweet for Mr Vaughn, who is now deciding whether to go through with the project at all.
"This has been a bad dream for me for four years," Mr Vaughn said.
"Thank god it's finished.
"But now I'm won- dering if the project is viable after I've spent at least $1 million to get this far, and the costs of construction have increased from $2 million up to possibly $3 or $4 million."
The development site is in an environmentally-sensitive coastal strip and nearby residents have also fought to protect the area.
The development consent granted by the council this week has extensive environmental protection conditions attached to it.
The other issue preventing approval of the project was sewerage capacity.
Mr Vaughn challenged the previous council's refusal for the development during the sewerage moratorium.
He become a colourful and outspoken regular at council meetings.
On one occasion he fired an arsenal of 43 questions to the council over sewerage entitlements during public access time.