State push on council over West Byron DCP
BYRON Shire Councillor Cate Coorey has reacted angrily to a letter received by council from NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts, pushing council to make a Draft Control Plan for the West Byron site that she and a number of other councillors see as flawed.
At a meeting on November 17 last year, council resolved "that subject to peer reviews of frog, koala, traffic, and water and flood management reports, council (should) approve the Byron Shire Development Control Plan 2014".
Instead, the Planning Minister is pushing council to make the DCP without the reports. Councillors are due to discuss their response at this Thurday's meeting.
"Again Byron is being pressured by the State Government," Cr Coorey said.
"The minister that approved this rezoning never came to Byron and does not understand the site.
"Now this new Planning Minister is doing the same. The State Government ignores what the people of Byron want."
"The previous council did nothing with this DCP - they were happy to accept the one put forward by the developers, which took no account of the major issues with the site - koalas, endangered frog habitat, acid sulfate soils, flooding and traffic.
"This council is trying to address these serious issues and we are being bullied by the minister, who is threatening to make the DCP himself if we don't submit the inadequate one that we were trying to amend.
"Minister's letter to us says - the proposed amendments, if pursued, would likely result in significant land-forming works and clearing to enable drainage, and a loss of dwelling yield across the site.
"Drainage on West Byron is fundamental to the site.
"It is alarming that the Minister is more concerned with housing yields for the developers than the health of our waterways and the safety of the town.
"Byron Bay was lucky that the worst of post-cyclone Debbie bypassed the town.
"The amount of fill - up to two metres in some places - required to bring the site to a developable level means that all the water on the site - with all its hard surfaces - is going to have to go somewhere.
"Many suggest it will flood the town.
"To develop so extensively on this site in a time of increasing and intensified weather patterns is reckless."