200 protesters say Byron deserves better

HEAVY TRAFFIC: More than 200 locals turned out for the Byron Deserves Better rally against the West Byron Developments.
HEAVY TRAFFIC: More than 200 locals turned out for the Byron Deserves Better rally against the West Byron Developments. Christian Morrow

TRAFFIC on Ewingsdale Rd was temporarily blocked on Saturday morning by the 200 protesters supporting the Byron Deserves Better Community Rally.

Many saw the rally as a last-ditch stand against two massive developments proposed for West Byron near the corner of Ewingsdale Rd and Melaleuca Dr.

Protesters crossed back and forth over Ewingsdale Rd near the corner of Melaleuca Dr, slowing traffic to a standstill for a short period of time as they posed for a mass photo.

People in buses and cars accepted the hold-up as part of the usual Ewingsdale Rd traffic snarl-up. Most drivers were supportive of the rally, honking their horns in encouragement - with only one or two expressing frustration.

There are currently two development applications on public exhibition at Byron Shire Council which together make up the 108ha site. The first DA, owned by listed Queensland developer Villa World, includes a 387-lot subdivision and the second DA, owned by a group of local landowners known as the West Byron Landowners' Association, includes a further 272 lots.

Locals have until Good Friday, March 30, to make a submission which will be included in council's submission to the State Government's Joint Regional Planning Panel which will make the final decision on the developments.

Suffolk Park Progress Association president Donald Maughan said Byron definitely deserved better.

"And the people coming into our town need to understand this," he said.

"We are going to inconvenience them for a little while with a traffic slowdown this morning but this is nothing compared to what's going to happen if we get all the extra houses and traffic from the West Byron Developments."

Those attending the rally also signed a petition that will be presented to the NSW Parliament by NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker.

Topics:  byron shire council ewingsdale road joint regional planning panel northern rivers development villa world west byron development

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