An artist’s impression of the new $15 million redevelopment on the site of the Sunseeker Motel in Byron Bay.
An artist’s impression of the new $15 million redevelopment on the site of the Sunseeker Motel in Byron Bay.

Development angers residents

An upmarket $15 million redevelopment on the site of the Sunseeker Motel in Byron Bay has been given the green light by Byron Shire Council, but nearby residents are not happy.


High-profile developer Vincent Rae has been given approval to proceed with the development on the site in Bangalow Road subject to a number of conditions imposed by the council.


Mr Rae, who is seeking a joint finance partner for the 53-suite development, will need to address issues related to noise, waste disposal, parking and access before a construction certificate is obtained. The development will also include a restaurant, central pool bar with cabanas, and water features outside all rooms.


Kevin Devlin, who lives in nearby Oakland Court, said he and other residents of the street were not happy about the approval.


“The council has failed to address the community’s needs and desires and instead has bowed to the developer’s dollars,” he said.


“The extra traffic that this development will generate will really affect Oakland Court and we are going to have delivery trucks and other cars coming into what was once a quiet street.


“There is going to be a 120-seat restaurant on-site, so that’s going to mean more cars parking in our street and on the already congested and busy Bangalow Road.


“We are now going to have a multi-million dollar development in the middle of a residential community.”


Mr Rae, who originally bought the site for $5 million, has engaged leading Sydney architects SJB Interiors and Melbourne artist David Bromley to come up with a hotel with a ‘retro, groovy vibe’.


In giving consent to the development, council said it must not interfere with the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason of noise vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, dust or waste water.


In particular, noise levels must comply with state restrictions, only clean water would be allowed to be discharged into stormwater drains and all waste should be contained in bins with tight-fitting, vermin-proof lids.


Jonathon Richards, director of SJB Interiors, said his firm and Mr Rae had worked with council to satisfy residents’ concerns about the development which centred on noise, access and scale.


“This is not going to be a massive development. It’s only two-storeys high and it has very pleasing aesthetics,” he said.


Mr Rae said the room rate would start at around $300, with prices in the restaurant tailored to attract a local crowd as well as out-of-town guests.


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