Residents ‘sold out’ by the Greens
Sold out by Greens councillors.
That’s the response from the Suffolk Park Community Association to Byron Council’s approval last Thursday of a development application for a 52-unit residential development in Broken Head Road adjacent to the Suffolk Park Service Station.
Association spokesman, Bernie Petry, said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the decision and had expected councillors to defer a decision on the application to resolve issues which the association believed had not been properly dealt with, including flooding.
“The Greens councillors sold the Suffolk Park community to the developers,” he said.
“It’s not a very sustainable development and they supported it. If they are not in support of more sustainable development, who will be?”
The application from Reef Break Solutions was approved on a 7-2 vote after a lengthy debate, with Crs Richard Staples and Patrick Morrissey voting against it.
While raising concerns that the development might be used for holiday letting in the future, mayor Cr Jan Barham supported the application and said the housing density could have been a lot greater on the site under the zoning.
“The full density has not been used,” she said. “It’s low density compared to other areas.”
One concern raised by councillors, including the mayor, was the similar design of all 13 buildings containing the 52 units planned for the site.
Cr Barham said she drove past the site every day and would like it to be ‘more interesting’.
Cr Simon Richardson said there was an opportunity to do ‘something great’ on the site, but every unit was the same.
Cr Richardson wondered whether in the future the developer would drive past and be happy with the outcome or cringe.
He said it ‘would have been lovely’ to have the odd one-bedroom and three-bedroom unit to break up the design.
While the units would be more affordable than units at Belongil Beach, he didn’t think ‘we are ever going to be able to satisfy true affordability at Byron Bay’.
Mr Petry said the association knew there would always be some residential development on the site, but he believed the approved application had been ‘hurried along’.