Deferred rezoning for West Byron Development denied
DESPITE a lively public meeting held on Wednesday night that attracted 170 people, Byron Shire Council yesterday rejected Mayor Simon Richardson's motion designed to defer rezoning of land for the contentious West Byron development.
The defiant spirit of the recent Bentley Blockade was evoked at Wednesday night's community meeting, with Cr Richardson receiving a hero's welcome.
The following morning Cr Richardson tried to get his motion over the line, telling packed council chambers it was "reasonable and logical" to defer the rezoning.
"Let's get the studies done before a decision is made: that is planning 101," he said.
Cr Diane Woods disagreed, calling it "disgusting" that the council had stalled on the development for the past 20 years.
"I've seen people who own that land go bankrupt while waiting," she said.
Fellow councillors voted against Cr Richardson's motion, instead backing an amendment by Cr Sol Ibrahim to write to the New South Wales Planning Minister requesting that prior to making a decision on the rezoning the appropriate soil, traffic and koala studies are considered and that the council seeks funding for a baseline assessment of the Belongil Creek and estuary.
Cr Rose Wanchap, who dramatically quit the Greens party the day after voting against Cr Richardson's previous motion to defer West Byron, yesterday told the council: "Due process has been followed and followed and followed ... for two decades. Let's take the risk. Let's feel the fear and do it anyway."