Tallowood concerns taken to court

RETIRED engineer and Mullumbimby resident, Chris Abraham, is disappointed the community was never really informed about the Tallowood Ridge development, or given an opportunity to be involved in public meetings on the project.

“We’re not anti-development per se, but if we’re going to have a residential development the size of this one in Mullum we want it to be a good one, state-of-the-art,” Mr Abraham said.

“We would also like to see some affordable housing included.”

Bush regenerator Dave Rawlins agrees.

“All we really want is transparency and community consultation,” Mr Rawlins said.

“But that is not what’s happening.”

The Land and Environment Court heard submissions from lawyers representing the developers, Bayview Land Development, and the Byron Shire Council in the Byron Bay Courthouse yesterday.

Council refused the DA for Stage One in November last year.

Sixteen Mullumbimby residents opposing approval for Stage1of the development – comprising 31 housing allotments – were given the opportunity to put their case forward to Land and Environment Court Commissioner Robert Hussey on-site on Monday morning.

Dave Rawlins expressed his concerns about threatened species, such as koalas and glossy black cockatoos, being displaced and further loss of plant species, such as the endangered spiny gardenia and fragrant myrtle.

“With no master plan available for the remaining land we don’t know whether we’re dealing with 240 or 350 houses, or even the figure of 400 which has been mentioned,” Mr Rawlins said.

“Brunswick Valley Landcare is developing a wildlife corridor, part of which runs through this property.

“I say let’s work together on this so that local people can have a say and we can work with the developers to preserve biodiversity.”

Mr Abraham also expressed concerns about the unknown future of the development.

“We have no idea at this stage what subsequent stages will bring, and according to NSW planning laws the developers are not obliged to provide a master plan,” Mr Abraham said.

The Land and Environment Court will conclude its hearing in Byron Bay today.

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