Becton lodges new DA with Government

Becton has lodged a new de- velopment application with Planning Minister, Craig Knowles, for its controversial Byron Bay Beach Resort (North Beach) site. According to Becton's man- aging director, Hamish Mac- donald, the DA primarily ad- dresses land use and seeks approval for subdivision of the site and establishing the boundaries of permanent envi- ronmental conservation areas. Mr Macdonald said the DA didn't seek approval for any new buildings on the site and had been prepared following the breakdown of talks with Byron Council and the com- munity representative group BEACON earlier this year. He said Becton had willing- ly offered development density controls for the site that were significantly less than those

used throughout Byron Shire. "We have a 90 hectare site, Becton is offering to gift over three quarters of it to perma- nent environmental conserva- tion and we are proposing to have buildings limited to less than 2.5% of the site area," he said. Mr Macdonald said he had met with councillors and planning officers and agreed to embrace the DCP council planning officers had drafted for the site, with only very minor points to be finalised. "We were therefore disap- pointed when, only a day lat- er, council voted to make 27 amendments to the DCP, most of which serve to reduce den- sity controls to a level that effectively precludes economic redevelopment of the proper- ty," he said. "It seems that political

agendas may well be over-rid- ing sensible planning consid- eration for our property. "We remain committed to world class environmentally sustainable design for North Beach." Becton's DA can be viewed at the Byron Bay Community Centre or at the Byron Bay Beach Resort. Byron environment group BEACON has welcomed the council's decision to exhibit the draft DCP for the Becton site. When the draft DCP is ex- hibited in the new year it will give the community a chance to have their say on the level of development and the nature of environmental management they want for the site, according to BEA- CON spokesperson, Dailan Pugh.

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