Residents group vows to continue battle against West Byron
THE Byron residents group have vowed to continue the fight against the West Byron housing development, despite an announcement from the State Government that re-zoning has been approved.
The 108hectare site will be the first major land release in Byron Bay for several decades and will have an upper limit of 1100 houses, depending on a range of factors to be determined by Byron Council's Development Control Plan.
A statement from the NSW Planning and Environment Department said the re-zoning would create 800 jobs during the construction phase and provide affordable housing within walking and cycling distance from the town centre.
"The approval not only means more work for local tradies, but greater choice in terms of types and styles of housing available in the region," a spokesperson said.
But Cate Coorey, from the Byron Residents' Action Group, said that with prices expected to start at $595,000, the affordable housing argument is a furphy.
It has been touted that 450sqm lots (with houses) would start at $595,000 with larger lots up to $900,000.
"To say they are hoping to alleviate the housing burden is nonsense; it's all about profit. There is nothing in this for the community, except more traffic and a poisoned estuary," she said.
An online petition to Planning Minister Pru Goward attracted more than 65,000 people calling for the development to be stopped. This is more than double the population for the whole of Byron Shire.
But Ms Coorey said she wasn't surprised the re-zoning had been given the green light.
"I thought they might have amended it a little bit to at least look like they have consulted with the community. To say otherwise is a total fabrication. They've disregarded everything we brought to the table," she said.
Ms Coorey said increased traffic, acid sulphate soils and koala habitat were the main concerns of the residents' group.