Tallwood Estate opponents rally

WHAT was meant to be a private inspection of a development site by a commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court may turn into something much larger.

That is if residents of Mullumbimby arrive as planned on Monday morning to express their concerns about the Tallowood Estate residential site.

Bayview Land Development developers Sarah and Eric Freeman took the Byron Shire Council to court on the basis of ‘deemed refusal’ late last year, after 40 days passed without a response to their DA for stage one of the sub- division on the outskirts of Mullumbimby.

Stage one of the site consists of 31 residential lots, of which 22 have been sold.

Council eventually voted 5-3 against the DA in November last year, citing a list of 15 environmental and infrastructure concerns.

Opponents of the Tallowood subdivision said up to 400 lots were eventually planned for the 64-hectare site. But Ms Freeman described this figure as ‘scaremongering’ and said the total number of lots proposed was closer to 200.

“We have a severe shortage of housing in the Byron Shire and there are very few vacant lots for sale,” Ms Freeman said.

“A lot of those who have put deposits on blocks already live and work in Mullumbimby and Ocean Shores. They’re not being bought up by outside investors.”

One reason for the opposition to the subdivision is the moratorium on development in Mullumbimby for more than 10 years because the sewerage system is already overloaded.

But Ms Freeman sees this as a smokescreen.

“Council is really dragging the chain on this issue,” she said.

“What it’s really about is stopping all development. We developed this land back in 1992. You can’t sit on vacant land for ever.”

Residents opposing Tallowood Estate are planning to attend the on-site inspection on Monday morning to put their case to the commissioner.

“This is our land,” Ms Freeman said of the threat.

“Commissioner Hussey is coming for a private on-site visit, then we’re adjourning to the courtroom in Byron Bay. It’s not a free-for-all.”



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