Fate of $34 million hotel, retail complex to be decided
A MEETING to consider the fate of a proposed $33.93 million development in Byron Bay will be held next week.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel will be holding its determination on the proposal, brought by Mercato on Byron Pty Ltd, via teleconference because of ongoing pandemic-related restrictions.
The development application, lodged in December 2018, seeks approval for a 146-room hotel, function centre and retail premises and demolition of the old Woolworths premises at 98-106 Jonson St.
This property sits to the north of the existing Mercato shopping centre.
A retail plaza is on its other side.
The proposal would require a variation to floor space ratios and height limits to be varied.
Byron Shire Council staff had recommended the planning panel refuse the application in their assessment report, which was made public on Monday, September 7.
While most of the building complies with the 11.5m height limit, some of the proposed rooftop elements are 14.05m.
The report's authors found that height exceedence could be justified, but a proposed departure from floor space ratio rules was "inconsistent with the existing and desired future character of the Byron Bay town centre".
They said the applicant's submission "failed to justify" the "significant contravention" of that particular development standard.
They found the proposed basement car park was "significantly deficient in parking spaces".
"103 spaces are proposed; 221 spaces short of the total number required based on compliance with Byron Development Control Plan standards," the report said.
According to the report, a "detailed contamination report" would be needed as asbestos material and radioactive mineral sands, possible associated with historical sand mining, have been detected on the site.
The council received a total of 424 submissions, all of which opposed the proposed development.
Most objected to the scale of the proposal and many raised issues related to traffic and parking.
The planning panel will meet from 5pm on Wednesday, September 16.
Residents can register to speak or listen in to the teleconference; details here.