PROTESTS: The Woolworths protest at Mullumbimby’s Apex Park in July last year. Byron Council has now blocked the application.
PROTESTS: The Woolworths protest at Mullumbimby’s Apex Park in July last year. Byron Council has now blocked the application. Brenden Allen

Byron blocks Mullumbimby Woolies

BYRON Shire Council has blocked the Woolworths development at Mullumbimby by refusing to approve its proposed on-site sewerage system.

Councillors voted yesterday to refuse the supermarket's application on the grounds it did not adequately address the management of sewage to be generated.

Approval of the sewerage system is needed before Woolworths can build, so unless the supermarket appeals the decision, it has effectively been stopped.

During yesterday's public access session, a Woolworths spokesperson made a last-minute request to defer the decision on the S68 certificate so that it could modify its sewerage system and come to a mutually-agreed solution with council.

However, councillors rejected this request and some spoke out strongly against the proposed Woolworths development.

“It's not in the interests of Mullumbimby residents, of the business community, of our rivers, of our environment, or of the Byron Shire,” Cr Basil Cameron said.

Cr Simon Richardson said the application for the sewerage system was 'flawed' and he was happy to reject it.

Councillors eventually voted 6-1 to refuse the application.

Campaigner Deborah Lilly, of the Mullumbimby Community Action Network, said she was feeling elated and relieved after yesterday's decision.

Ms Lilly has been part of a sustained community campaign against the supermarket giant over the past 18 months.

“It was a very sensible decision,” she said.

“I am glad that these councillors are the stewards of our community.”

The Northern Star contacted Woolworths yesterday, but had not received a response by deadline.

The company has previously indicated that it would not rule out going to the Land and Environment Court if its on-site sewage application were refused.

Ms Lilly said she did not expect Woolworths to give up easily and she anticipated a court battle.

“But we'll be ready for that,” Ms Lilly said.



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