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Don't ruin Byron Bay!

This petition had 4,223 supporters

Dear Premier Baird,

Please don't kill the golden goose that is tourism in Byron Bay by permitting a mega-suburb to be built at West Byron on already overcrowded Ewingsdale Road. This development is the biggest Byron has ever seen.

We want Byron Council to rezone the site in a way that enhances the quality of the town for residents and visitors alike, restores the wetlands and protects the threatened koalas on the site.

Without ever having been to Byron, Planning Minister Pru Goward approved this mega development of potentially over 2000 homes, plus shops, businesses and industries, which could increase the town’s population by 40-50%. If you have ever visited Byron Bay you will understand that this is crazy.

This is why:

  • This 108 hectare site could potentially have 2,000 plus dwellings, as well as shops, businesses and industry on Ewingsdale Rd. It is the main entry into town and already heavily congested during peak visitor periods.

  • There would be a doubling of car movements on Ewingsdale Rd to over 31,000 each day – a huge negative for residents and local businesses.

  • This small town of less than 10,000 residents is the tourism gateway and a major economic driver for the whole Northern Rivers region.

  • It is also the 3rd largest domestic tourism destination and has 1.5 million visitors annually. People visit because of its natural charm and laid-back feel. This development would end this.

  • The site is core koala habitat. The development plans to build on 50% of the habitat area.

  • Draining the acid sulfate soil to build on the site would have disastrous impacts on the adjacent Belongil Estuary and Cape Byron Marine Reserve, significant breeding grounds for fish, birds and other species.

  • The crucial issue upon which state determination was sought for West Byron was that it was alleged it was needed to alleviate “pressures on housing supply and affordability”. There is a shortage of rental homes because we have hundreds of dwellings that are holiday lettings. It is likely these new homes will go the same way.

  • The Department’s own data – which they ignored – showed there is no housing shortage in Byron Bay; there is an oversupply of dwellings relative to population growth. We have already reached our 2020 targets for the provision of dwellings as per the Far North Coast Regional Strategy.
  • To add insult to injury the Planning Minister has also used the Gateway process to approve another high density development on farmland at Ewingsdale, on the same road, in contravention of all our planning rules and the Department's own advice.

    Please rescind the rezoning of West Byron and return planning powers in Byron Shire to the community.

Premier, these developments are wrong for Byron Bay in every way. The community does not want them and they will ruin the very thing that makes Byron different from so many ruined coastal "resort" towns.


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