Council approval to be needed

The rear of the property at 139 Jonson St, Byron Bay, where council alleges up to 19 occupants were staying.
The rear of the property at 139 Jonson St, Byron Bay, where council alleges up to 19 occupants were staying. The Northern Star

BY NEXT summer, holiday letting in residential areas of Byron Bay will need council approval, with property owners and agents required to follow a strict set of guidelines.

That is if a new strategy is approved by Byron Shire Council and the 2014 Development Control plan is amended.

The Draft Short Term Holiday Accommodation Strategy has been completed after multiple workshops with stakeholders and 150 submissions received during the six weeks it was on public exhibition, the council's executive manager of sustainable environment and economy, Ray Darney, said.

"We believe the strategy will satisfy both landowners and objectors (to residential holiday letting)," Mr Darney said.

The strategy allows for short-term holiday letting to become an approved land use - as long as certain conditions are upheld.

"People will have to either lodge a DA, or have the council or a private certifier apply as a complying development or an exempt development," he said.

An exempt development could apply to a dwelling only let during school holiday periods, or in a house-swap situation, Mr Darney said.

The strategy moves away from previous discussions on setting holiday "precincts" and instead allows for holiday letting across the shire.

Conditions such as the number of car parks, guest numbers and signage will apply, and a landowner or manager must be available to deal with complaints.

However, the strategy has "too many holes" said Doug Luke, co-ordinator of the Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) group which would still like to see precincts decided and for residential holiday letting to cease.

"VOHL sees holiday letting as causing serious damage to our community," Mr Luke said.


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