Scenic wedding venue operating for years without approval
Byron Shire Council staff have said a wedding venue that has been operating on a hinterland property for years has never had approval for such events.
Planning staff have mentioned this issue alongside a host of reasons why a proposed camping ground at the site should be refused.
Councillors are set to consider the development application proposing a primitive camping ground involving eight sites and related facilities at 194 St Helena Rd in McLeods Shoot at their planning meeting on Thursday.
The council's staff have listed seven reasons to refuse the proposal.
But they also drew attention to the alleged unauthorised use of the property, known as Byron View Farm, as a wedding venue "and the presence of two safari tents which appear to have been constructed without consent".
The pending DA involves "glamping" safari tents.
Planning staff have recommended the alleged unauthorised uses of the site "be referred to council's community enforcement team to further investigate and commence enforcement action as required or necessary".
While a shed, dwelling, studio and other works had been approved on the property over the years, the council report said there was no approval for the property to be used as a commercial wedding venue, or for accommodation, despite both services being clearly advertised on the Byron View Farm website.
There, the business boasts a "perfect destination to create your dream wedding".
In their report, the council's staff say the proposed camping ground "fails to meet the definition of a primitive camping ground" and would be "a prohibited use" of the land in the scenic/escarpment zone.
Approving the DA would be "contrary to the public interest", they said.
They said the proposed camping area would be "located unacceptably close to overhead powerlines", posing a safety risk to guests and impeding access to electrical infrastructure.
According to the council report, a stop work order was issued on February 9 this year after a mini-excavator was brought onto the site "to commence the earthworks needed to create level building pads for the camp sites".
The DA was lodged with the council last July and proposes an estimated $89,500 worth of works.