Council opposing new Byron suburb
BYRON Shire Council is officially opposing the State Government's plans to rezone land at West Byron for a new suburb.
Councillors finalised their submission to the State Government at a planning meeting yesterday, citing traffic congestion on Ewingsdale Rd as their major concern.
They resolved to oppose the rezoning until adequate arrangements and funding were in place to relieve the traffic problems.
The proposed rezoning, which would pave the way for developers to build more than 800 houses on the outskirts of Byron, has been widely criticised for its potential to add to congestion in Byron Bay. Concerns about flooding, ecological impacts, housing density and the character of the development have also been raised.
Meanwhile, supporters say it will provide more affordable housing and give the area an economic boost.
At yesterday's meeting, councillor Ross Tucker argued the council's attitude towards the rezoning was too negative, and that traffic problems in Byron Bay should be addressed by council, not the developers. He said council's failure to provide a bypass was in effect putting a moratorium on development.
But councillor Richard Staples warned the bypass was not the answer, with studies showing the costs would be huge and the impacts on congestion minimal. He and Cr Basil Cameron argued that solutions to traffic congestion needed to look beyond building more roads and at alternative transport options such as bikes, public transport and rail.
Submissions to the State Government on the West Byron rezoning close on November 30.