A planning proposal is seeking rezoning of land near Elements of Byron at Belongil.
A planning proposal is seeking rezoning of land near Elements of Byron at Belongil.

Plan to rezone former golf course back before council

A PLANNING proposal that seeks to allow a coastal property near Byron Bay to be rezoned could soon be progressed to Gateway Determination.

The proposal relates to land at the northern end of Bayshore Drive which includes Elements of Byron Resort.

The Belongil site includes several freehold titles and is owned by Ganra Pty Ltd.

The currently vacant area to the northwest of Elements, which featured a golf course for 30 years and is currently home to the Byron Writers Festival, would be partly rezoned to Environmental Living if the planning proposal is endorsed.

If that goes ahead, it would be the first zoning of its kind in the shire.

Under the planning proposal all of the 41 hectare subject site would fall under environmental zonings, with 75 per cent zoned E2 Environmental Conservation and E3 Environmental Management. 

The balance would be E4 Environmental Living.

The planning proposal will go back before Byron Shire Council at its planning meeting next Thursday.

According to a report that will go before the council, the goals of an Environmental Living zone are to "provide for low-impact residential development in areas with special ecological, scientific or aesthetic values" and to "ensure that residential development does not have an adverse effect on those values".

The applicant commissioned a coastal hazards assessment which includes "contemporary modelling" of likely coastal erosion in years 2050, 2070, 2100 and 2120.

The council's staff said in the report this modelling, which places the 100-year hazard line "135m seaward of the previously mapped … line" compared to earlier mapping which was "based on analysis from the 1970s".

"The contemporary modelling demonstrates that the area within the site that is subject to coastal hazard is far smaller than previously understood," staff said in the report.

The council's staff had recommended they prepare the planning proposal and forward it to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for Gateway determination.

If that occurs, the proposal will afterwards be placed on public exhibition.

If the proposal proceeds, it would be prepared at the applicant's expense.

If the Environmental Living zone is applied, a development application would need to be lodged for nine residential lots with a minimum lot size of one hectare that have been slated for that area.

Under the proposal the current public beach access would remain unchanged.

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