Holiday letting a burden on Byron

HOLIDAY letting is a "cancer" on Byron Bay and must be flushed out of all residential areas, a Byron council meeting has heard.

A group of impassioned residents addressed councillors at a public access session this week, pleading to keep up the pressure on holiday-let owners and takelegal action wherever necessary.

Their calls were heard by councillors who voted unanimously to continue their current hard-line stance.

The council has shut down two unauthorised holiday lets in Byron Bay in recent weeks, an alleged over-crowded schoolies "slum" and a luxury beach house complex, both of which were in residential areas.

The meeting was told elderly residents had suffered breakdowns as a result of living next to noisy year-round holiday lets.

"We can all handle the odd noisy party by our next-door neighbour, but if that party behaviour, even if not extreme, were to go on day after day after day it would be a very different matter," Byron Bay resident and former councillor Hugh Ermacora said.

Mr Ermacora, who lives in anover-55s estate, said there were two year-round holiday lets neighbouring the complex, causing great stress to residents.

"Essentially it comes down to land use and control. Commercial enterprises must be located in defined areas and operated in a manner where they create minimal disruption on the lives of the rest of the community. Those who don't do the right thing must be jumped on from a great height."

Ewingsdale resident Simon Davis said holiday lets and the commercialisation of residential areas was hurting legitimate accommodation operators, taking up afford- able housing and disturbing residents.

He spoke of a friend in Suffolk Park who recently had to endure a wedding and reception next door.

"The bride asked her not to walk to the beach because the wedding was on," he said. "It (holiday letting) is a cancer we must get rid of. Keep it in the CBD and away from residents and families."

The council's decision to take the owners of holiday lets to court follows the council's failed attempt in 2009 to create a "holiday-let precinct" in Byron Bay, which would have restricted holiday letting to certain areas.

The council dropped the model after the State Government refused to support its inclusion in the Local Environmental Plan.

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