$2.3m housing development expected to go ahead in Bangalow
A DEVELOPMENT comprising 15 new units in Bangalow is expected to go ahead.
When the $2.3 million proposal for 23 Lismore Rd went before Byron Shire Council's planning meeting last week, a representative for the Bangalow Progress Association raised concerns about the plans, including whether it would adversely impact the historic aesthetic of that part of the town.
But councillors resolved to authorised the general manager to enter into a conciliation agreement with the proponent, approving the DA, subject to a number of conditions and subject to negotiations that "seeks an improved carparking outcome by providing additional on-site parking spaces and alleviation of privacy issues affecting neighbours".
There was some debate about whether negotiations should be sought at all, and how strongly the DA's approval should hinge upon the outcome of those discussions, but a proposed amendment was not adopted.
According to the application, the units will fall under the Kollective brand, which already has a set of units in Kendall St, Byron Bay.
At the planning meeting, councillor Basil Cameron said the council was in a "sticky situation", bound by affordable housing and state planning rules.
"(We) can't always get a satisfactory outcome for the community," he said.
Cr Cate Coorey said it was vital to "maintain a precinct in the face of people who are trying to make money".
"We do want to advocate for better design," she said.
"Better design might be that we don't have studios that are only three metres wide."
Mayor Simon Richardson said design changes that had been made to the DA were "legitimately significant".
"There is nothing in this that's not compliant," he said.
"It's been designed down from what it was."
Deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye said she didn't want to see the matter end up in court.
"To say that we can't give consent unless that negotiation is successful ... is just shooting ourselves in the foot," she said.
"That's tens of thousands of dollars that could be better invested in a lot of other things.
"We could potentially make suggestions … just to see if there is any
room to move and to show that good will and that genuine attempt.
"But if that's unsuccessful and we land ourselves in court I think we're being grossly irresponsible with our ratepayers' money."