Last chance to have say on plan

Submissions on Byron Council’s controversial draft Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) close at 4 pm next Tuesday.

Council’s executive manager of planning, Ray Darney, said it was an opportunity for residents and ratepayers to have input towards the management of the shire’s coastline.

Mr Darney said that as with any important community planning instrument, there were often diverging opinions on the best way forward.

He said a common question at the recently held community information stands over the past month related to the 20-metre coastline buffer.

“The overall objective of the draft CZMP is to maintain a 20-metre development-free buffer to accommodate natural coastal processes and absorb the potential threat of immediate coastal hazards to life and property,” he said.

“At the same time, the draft CZMP will provide for the preservation and management of safe public accesses to beaches.”

Mr Darney said the 20-metre buffer could require the relocation of private dwellings and public infrastructure.

He said that retaining a development-free 20-metre buffer from the erosion escarpment did not necessitate the immediate removal of houses and infrastructure which were located outside of the 20-metre buffer zone – 20 metres was the distance within which structures and infrastructure were at risk and would need to be removed or relocated.

Included in the draft CZMP was an urgent priority for the council to undertake a risk-analysis audit of private erosion protection structures and public works, he said.

Mr Darney said the council had a responsibility to ensure items such as drains and pipes did not remain exposed after a storm event, and as required under the draft CZMP, would be relocated landward before coastal erosion impacted on them.

Mr Darney said since 1988 the council had placed restrictions on consents to new developments and additions to existing structures.

He said conditions of approval might also identify the need for structures to be relocatable and the trigger for removal was identified.

Information on coastal hazards was also placed on Section 149 Certificates to inform prospective buyers of risks, he said.

Copies of the draft CZMP and accompanying information are available for viewing at community access points around the Shire.

Submissions may be lodged online at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/public-exhibition and submission forms are also available from community access points.

Written submissions should be addressed to The General Manager, PO Box 219, Mullumbimby, 2482, clearly marked “Submission – Draft Byron Shire Coastal Zone Management Plan”.
Cr Ross Tucker has called for residents to lodge objections to the draft plan.

Cr Tucker said the plan would be disastrous for the Byron Shire and for everyone who lived and worked in the shire.

He said it was another example of councillors placing their own political agenda ahead of the interests of the residents and ratepayers of Byron Shire.

The residents of the shire should be aware that the CZMP would be a blight on our community forever, he said.

Cr Tucker attacked the Green group on the council for policies which he said were extremely costly, wasteful and foolish.

“This council is incapable of making decisions,” he said.

 “It is an ideological and philosophical body which wants somebody else to change the world.”

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