A draft policy to address unauthorised dwellings in the Byron Shire is now on public exhibition. PICTURE: PENNY STEPHENS.
A draft policy to address unauthorised dwellings in the Byron Shire is now on public exhibition. PICTURE: PENNY STEPHENS.

EXPLAINED: Council’s draft policy aimed at illegal homes

BYRON Shire Council is seeking feedback on a draft policy aimed at tackling unapproved homes across the shire.

In June, councillors were considering a planning proposal to legitimise an authorise dwelling at Skinners Shoot when they moved to ask staff to begin work on the new policy.

The intent of this was to “identify planning pathways and consequences” for unapproved homes where the owners were seeking regularisation.

The draft Unauthorised Dwelling Policy went before the council in August and was placed on public exhibition on September 23.

The 28-day public exhibition period will end on October 21 and the submissions will be reported back to the council in November.

The draft policy involves three proposed planning pathways for illegal dwellings to be managed.

The first of those options involves land with a dwelling entitlement but an unauthorised dwelling, in which case development consent could be sought.

The second pathway involves land with unauthorised dwellings where there is no development entitlement in place.

In these circumstances where the building meets the “strategic merit test” under the Byron Local Environmental Plan, a planning proposal can be submitted before development approval is sought.

Lastly, properties containing unauthorised dwellings which have no dwelling entitlement, it does not meet the “strategic merit test” and does not “comply with LEP and DCP provisions”, enforcement action may be taken.

Such action could involve orders to demolish buildings or restore them to a previously-approved state, if previous consent had been in place.

Residents can have their say on the draft policy at https://www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/unauthorised-dwelling-policy.


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