Minister fast tracks rezonings
THE controversial development of up to 110 new houses at Bangalow got one step closer yesterday with the State Government agreeing to rezone five rural areas to residential.
Planning Minister Tony Kelly yesterday endorsed the rezoning proposal from the Byron Shire Council for areas which were identified as future urban growth locations.
The areas to be rezoned are Rankin and Granuaille roads, Ballina Road (north and south), Thomas and Charlotte streets and Parrot Tree Place.
“The rezonings will provide the continued opportunity for a diverse range of housing options for Bangalow,” Mr Kelly said.
He said the land was rezoned in less than six months under a new streamlined system and was in line with the Bangalow Settlement Strategy and the Far North Coast Regional Strategy.
Mr Kelly said a development control plan was currently being completed by the Byron council to assist with the assessment of specific development applications to allow subdivisions and housing construction in the rezoned areas.
However, Bangalow residents like Tony Hart are concerned about the lack of infrastructure to support the expected increase in population.
“The State Government’s decision was always going to be a fait accompli, but now the council has to explain how it will provide the infrastructure for the increase in the population which can’t even service the current population,” he said.
Mayor Jan Barham said the council would now assess development proposals for the area and determine what was suitable in light of public feedback during the community consultation process.
“Part of that will be infrastructure,” she said. “We have already approved the upgrade of Rifle Range Road, which was a major concern of residents, and new pedestrian footpaths and bikeways will now flow from the developers’ contributions.”
Cr Barham said the rezoning of the sites had been on the books for 20 years, and would be the last developments in Bangalow.