The future of Splendour and Falls site about to be decided
THE NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPCN) is due to release its decision regarding North Byron Parklands this month.
The $42 million development application to make North Byron Parklands a permanent home for Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival was referred by the Department of Planning and Environment to the Independent Planning Commission last November for a final decision.
The decision was referred as both Tweed and Byron Shire councils opposed the development application.
Last December, the three members of the panel who will decide on the fate of the project, Richard Mackay (chair), Andrew Hutton and Catherine Hird visited the area, inspected the site and met with the community, with residents highligting their concerns and hopes for the project.
So, what would happen if the IPCN allows the development of the site and the ongoing hosting of the music events?
Byron Shire Council is preparing for that possibility, as explained by councillor (and acting mayor) Michael Lyon.
He explained Council requested to have the final say no whether and how the project is delivered, if approved.
"We requested it, rather than required it, as we did not appreciate it being taken out of Council hands," he said.
"Whilst the impacts affect the Tweed shire, which is close to the boundary, the site itself is wholly located in Byron Shire.
"The applicant was within their rights to request it remain a state significant development(...) Independent Planning Commission is the consent authority for the development."
A Planning Agreement Offer from North Byron Parklands includes the possibility of North Byron Parklands owners paying $1 per day per camper to Byron Shire Council, under the request from the venue managers that the money is only used to develop the north side of the shire.
The contribution will be capped at $120,000 a year, and paid every six months.
Council has no objection to the offer if the development proposal is granted consent.
Council also submitted a list of conditions of consent, should the application be approved by the IPCN.
They include issues regarding waste management, noise control, biodiversity care, tree removal, payment of levies, erotion and construction regulations, amongst others.
Cr Lyon said these conditions, and suggested new ones, were discussed with the commission at the public hearing last December.
"Changes will be made to the conditions as deemed appropriate by the commission (but) no specific assurances have been given," Cr Lyon said.
According to documents tabled with IPCN, Council does not support recommendation by the NSW Department of Planning with respect to Parklands' self-monitoring in terms of compliance to the rules set for its development.