Raphael Leecass, Jenny Bannister, Jim Beatson, Paul Belin, Rob and Linda O'Brien outside the JRPP public meeting on one of two proposed West Byron developments on Monday.
Raphael Leecass, Jenny Bannister, Jim Beatson, Paul Belin, Rob and Linda O'Brien outside the JRPP public meeting on one of two proposed West Byron developments on Monday. Liana Turner

'Proper process' needed before decision on West Byron

MANY residents had hoped it would be crunch time, but there was a sense of exasperation in the room at the Joint Regional Planning Panel opted to delay their decision on a West Byron development.

The West Byron Landowners Group's proposal for a 387-lot subdivision on Ewingsdale Rd was scheduled for determination at Monday's meeting in Mullumbimby.

A late amendment to the development application, however, saw the panel agree to await a new report from Byron Shire Council.

Byron councillor Cate Coorey spoke on behalf of the Byron Residents' Group at the meeting, said the decision to defer was "underwhelming”.

"We were hoping for an outright refusal of the development,” she said.

"But the applicants put in a whole lot of extra information at the 11th hour and as such, the JRPP are compelled to consider all that information.”

Panel member and Tweed mayor Katie Milne, said they were "hamstrung” by the late documents.

She said proper process must be followed or the JRPP could face legal action.

"It would be in the best interest (that) we do the proper process,” she said.

The applicant's project manager Stuart Murray argued it was "not a pristine environmental site” and was "still a functioning caravan park”.

"It has a history no different to what the arts and industry estate across the road has,” Mr Murray said.

When Cr Milne asked if there was any way to "work with the community to meet their expectations”, Mr Murray said the landowners had approached the council "over two years” in an attempt to "work together”.

Regarding the late documents, Mr Murray said agreements from a June 17 meeting with council staff had led to complex changes to the applicant's plans.

The proposal is subject to an ongoing deemed refusal case in the Land and Environment Court.

An adjacent DA, put forward by Villa World, is also being considered by the JRPP.



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