Trains, bikes and beach paths: Becton tries again


THE people would decide what gets built at the former Club Med site at Belongil Beach, not the developers, Byron Shire mayor Cr Jan Barham said yesterday.

Cr Barham said she would push at today's ordinary meeting for a Development Control Plan (DCP) to go on public exhibition, despite a last-minute think tank with Melbourne developers, Becton.

Becton managing director Hamish Macdonald yesterday presented the council with a settlement plan for the environmentally sensitive site, offering the community incentives such as a light rail service, beach access and bike trails to off-set a major holiday-home development.

"We're prepared to do some things...and obviously we're trying to gain some concessions," Mr Macdonald said.

"I'm hopeful. I think it was a really good meeting."

However, Cr Barham was not budging on the DCP, which would limit the number of houses to be built on the site from Becton's original plan of 378 to less than 130.

"The scale and density of the development will always be a sticking point," Cr Barham said. "For them it's about maximising profit, for us it's about minimising impact."

Cr Barham said putting a DCP on public exhibition would enable the community to decide.

"The community feels very strongly about this site, from the Club Med protests right through to Becton," she said.

"This DCP gives them the chance to have their say."

The council will vote on the DCP today, while Mr Macdonald said Becton would lodge a development application before Christmas to sub- divide the site.

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