News

No Splendour for box king

ALLAN Yarrington made a name for himself in Byron Bay as the "box king", selling wooden boxes for home storage from his former Jonson St shop.

Now Byron Shire Council is alleging Mr Yarrington is using bigger boxes for commercial purposes.

The trouble is this time it's against the law.

Mr Yarrington has been charged with running an illegal campground during this year's Splendour in the Grass music festival.

He appeared at Byron Bay Local Court last week charged with development without consent, obstructing an authorised person in exercising their duties and polluting land.

The charges relate to an alleged illegal campground Mr Yarrington set up for up to 200 people during last month's music festival.

Suspicious council staff arranged for aerial photos of the site at 412 Ewingsdale Rd, Bryon Bay, adjacent to Belongil Fields, to be taken.

The photographs allegedly show at least 65 vehicles, 73 tents and annexes and four portable toilets on the site.

Byron Shire Council and police obtained a search warrant and raided the property on Sunday, July 29, after being denied access on the Friday night despite serving the operators with a notice of inspection.

Police who executed the search warrant said they had to use bolt cutters to cut chains on a gate to access the property.

Once on the property, police and council staff allegedly found campers sleeping in shipping containers, as well as "significant amounts" of faeces, toilet paper and rubbish.

It is alleged 114 vehicles, registered in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT, were parked on the site.

The action against Mr Yarrington comes less than a month after Byron Bay resident Shai Major was ordered to pay almost $100,000 after being found guilty of providing illegal backpacker accommodation.

Council's governance manager, Ralph James, said illegal land use could undermine Byron Bay's reputation as a world-class tourist destination.

The maximum penalty for development without consent is $110,000.

Magistrate Jeff Linden adjourned the matter until September 20.


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