West Byron area zoned for development.
West Byron area zoned for development. Coastal Risk Australia

What's next for this controversial mega development?

HUNDREDS of people gathered at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall to hear submissions into the West Byron mega-development this week.

But it's not yet known when the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel is likely to hand down its final decision on the two DAs on Ewingsdale Rd.

The adjacent developments, proposed by Villa World and the Byron Bay Landowners Association, would convert a combined 15 lots into 677 residential lots - including low and medium density housing - along with a number of commercial, industrial and recreational lots.

It's expected the developments, which would be the largest new urban release in the Byron area in four decades, would require some 300,000 cubic metres of fill and would spark an extra 14,000 trips along Ewingsdale Rd each day.

Northern JRPP chairman Garry West said Byron Shire Council would need to complete its assessment report before they could proceed further.

Mr West said the report - headed by the council's planning staff but also involving engineers and other departments - would be considered along with the mass of submissions, such as those orally given at Tuesday night's meeting, before a later determination meeting.

He said it was "not unusual” to have an entire cohort of speakers take one position on an issue, as was the case this week.

While many spoke passionately and the audience was vocal throughout, Mr West commended the quality of submissions made at this week's two public hearing sessions.

"The speakers raised a number of key points,” Mr West said.

"I would expect them to express their concerns with vigour and passion and that's what they did.

"I do think people made their presentations in a very considerate manner and a very calm manner.”

He said the council's assessment report would be handed to the JRPP before being made publicly available.

The JRPP will visit the site and seek further information from both applicants as well as the council.

"When we get the assessment report we will then, as a panel, go into ... a detailed site inspection,” Mr West said.

Depending on these, they will then schedule a determination hearing, where community groups and individuals will again be invited to speak.

"That will be another opportunity for the community to respond and speak and that time we would obviously be asking them to focus their message on what the assessment report is telling us... if it misses something to they think something else should be addressed,” Mr West said.

Given the steps required, Mr West said it was not possible or appropriate to estimate when the matter would be finalised.

Mr West said the council's assessment report would be made available on the JRPP's website, planningpanels.nsw.gov.au, before the public determination meeting.



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