KFC bid given thumbs down by Byron councillors
BYRON Shire Councillors have backed their staff's recommendation and voted to reject KFC's controversial bid to open an outlet in Byron Bay.
That is despite the applicants' seeking to defer a vote today in order to stage a meeting with council to try to resolve the parking space issue at the store proposed for Jonson St.
It was revealed at today's council meeting that councillors received a letter from the KFC applicants on March 7 calling for more talks after they were advised that staff had recommended their application to fit out a former music store as a food shop and restaurant be rejected.
Council staff's main grounds for recommending the refusal was that there were 7.39 too few car parking spaces as required under its development controls.
Crs Diane Woods and Alan Hunter voted against the refusal, expressing concerns council would become embroiled in another expensive legal challenge in the Land and Environment Court.
"They did not want us to go through with this today. They wanted the opportunity to talk," Cr Woods said.
"I want a proper process to be adopted here and I want the applicant to be given the opportunity to speak with council."
Cr Woods' amendment to defer the decision until further talks had been staged with the applicant, which received support from Cr Paul Spooner, was defeated.
Cr Hunter said he feared staff had been influenced in their recommendation by the high-profile campaign against KFC.
Council's executive manager of planning, Ray Darney, said knocking back KFC was defensible as it was consistent with council's development control plan which had been consistently applied for several years.
A man who later identified himself as the owner of the shop heckled Cr Duncan Dey as he spoke in favour of rejecting KFC's application during the meeting.
He declined to comment to the Byron Shire News.
Mayor Simon Richardson, who staged a high-profile campaign against KFC, declared an interest and did not vote or participate in the debate.