Plush hotel a step closer
A SWISH $15 million hotel development in Bangalow Road, Byron Bay, will go ahead once funding is confirmed.
After a two-year battle to overcome residents’ objections for the old Sunseeker Motel site, high-profile developer Vincent Rae has been given approval to proceed, subject to conditions imposed by the Byron Shire Council.
Mr Rae will need to address issues related to noise, waste disposal, parking and access before a construction certificate is obtained.
However, he confirmed the ambitious project, that will bring even more tourists into an area slightly closer to the CBD than the Byron at Byron Resort, had moved one step closer to becoming a reality.
Mr Rae, who owns boutique hotel Rae’s at Wategos, is now seeking a joint finance partner for the 53-suite development that will include a restaurant, central pool bar with cabanas surrounding it, and water features outside all the rooms.
He said he had originally bought the site for $5 million and had engaged leading Sydney architects SJB Interiors and Melbourne artist David Bromley to come up with a hotel with a ‘retro, groovy vibe’.
In giving consent to the development, Byron Shire Council said it must not interfere with the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, dust or waste water.
In particular, noise levels must comply with state restrictions, only clean water would be allowed to be discharged into stormwater drains, and all waste should be contained in bins with tight-fitting, vermin-proof lids, it said.
Jonathan Richards, director of SJB Interiors, said his firm and Mr Rae had worked with council to satisfy residents’ concerns about the development which centred around noise, access and scale.
“It took a while for us to communicate to people that this was not going to be a massive development,” he said.
“It is only two-storeys high and it has very pleasing aesthetics. All of the buildings are white rendered.
“There is also a lot of acoustic baffling to minimise noise.”
Mr Rae said the room rate for his new hotel development would start at around $300, with prices in the restaurant tailored to attract a local crowd as well as out-of-town guests.