The Mercato shopping centre on Jonson St in Byron Bay. Picture: Liana Boss
The Mercato shopping centre on Jonson St in Byron Bay. Picture: Liana Boss

Shopping centre developer appeals firm stance on roundabout

A DEVELOPER has lost a court appeal over traffic arrangements at its Byron Bay shopping centre.

Mercato on Byron Pty Ltd took Byron Shire Council to the Land and Environment Court after an application to delete conditions requiring the developer to build a new roundabout, and make changes to its shopping centre driveway, were refused.

The Jonson St shopping centre was approved in 2018 and since then, the council had approved four separate modifications to conditions on the development application.

Conditions of consent attached to the 2018 approval made Mercato responsible for building a new roundabout on the corner of Jonson and Carlyle Sts.

In the court appeal, Mercato sought to remove this condition and to change conditions relating to works required on the shopping centre's driveway.

The council's consent has called for a range of works on the driveway, including a raised median strip with a pedestrian refuge and limits on traffic movements.

Mercato's proposed amendment would have resulted in the drived being "retained in its current form".

In handing down his decision on October 30, Commissioner Michael Chilcott said planning rules dictates a road's operational safety "must not be adversely affected by a proposed development" although there is no guidance on "how that operational safety should be determined".

Mercato's legal representative argued the development "had not had a discernible impact on traffic safety on Jonson St since the commencement of its operations" and said the proposed amendment "should not be refused for reasons of safety".

The council argued "the potential traffic safety implications … were unacceptable and on this basis the applicant's modification application should be refused".

Commissioner Chilcott said he could not be satisfied Mercato's proposed changes would result in a safe design where "the operation of Jonson St … would not be adversely affected".

He refused both of Mercato's proposed changes.

It is possible for Mercato to propose an alternative option and attempt to have those conditions modified once more, but the developer has not yet indicated its intentions.


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