Delays blamed on developers

ACTIVISTS at Main Arm have hit back at comments by Byron Shire Councillor Diane Woods criticising delays in development approvals.

Cr Woods told The Northern Star last week that she was ‘over’ the council’s slow approach to new developments.

Taking arguments over development to the courts was costing ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, she said.

However, Nick Gazzard, a Main Arm local for 30 years and head of the Resident’s Association, said Cr Woods needed to understand it was developers who were creating the extra cost to Byron Shire ratepayers, by initiating court action and seeking damages.

“The lodging of an application to subdivide does not confer a right to do so. A subdivision has to comply with regulations and guidelines,” Mr Gazzard said.

The development that had angered Cr Woods, the Davis/McIver project near Main Arm, did not comply, he said.

Byron council decided last week to defer the proposal, and sought a report on sewerage plans and road use.

Mayor Jan Barham said later that it was important for the Davis plan to be considered together with the nearby ReGenesis proposal, as the two would have a substantial impact on the tiny village.

Developer Michael Davis said he, Christine Davis and Neil McIver would consider their legal options.

Mr Gazzard called on both developers to ‘have some respect’.

The Main Arm community did not oppose development, as long as planning guidelines were correctly followed, social amenity and safety issues were realistically addressed, and priority was given to protecting the environment, he said.

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