Residents call on council to block seniors housing estate

EWINGSDALE residents are calling on the council to not amend the Byron LEP to accommodate changes to a site proposed for seniors housing at Ewingsdale.

The changes will be debated at Thursday's council meeting.

Residents want the process halted to allow time to discuss more appropriate development on the site that adjoins the new Byron Hospital.

There are concerns the large-scale development would have the Byron gateway site changed "irreparably" and the population of Ewingsdale doubled.

"This appears to be a backdoor way of putting in high-density housing for the over-55s together with commercial development just opposite the heritage-listed Ewingsdale hall and church on Figtree Road," said vice-president of the Ewingsdale Community Association, Lorissa Barrett.

Association president Allen Lind said residents did not want the council to rush through a "poorly structured and badly planned" high-density living arrangement, under the guise of aged care.

"The Ewingsdale community has welcomed the hospital development, Figtree Fields and The Farm in recent years," Mr Lind said.

"We are not anti-development, we are pro-appropriate development, but we are unanimous in our belief that this is not appropriate," he said.

"We want the council to defer a decision on changing the LEP and engage in appropriate consultation.

"The time pressure we are being put under in this planning process is having a disempowering effect on the residents.

"There is no hurry to have a change of permitted use for this land. This is an opportunity to plan a truly amazing gateway to Byron Bay. It should be well thought-out and add to the vibrancy of the shire."

Topics:  byron shire council development ewingsdale

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