Beachfront land rezoning on hold
BYRON Shire Council has delayed its decision on a planning proposal seeking to rezone a portion of beachfront land at Byron's north beach.
An options report regarding the proposal, which relates to land north of - and owned by - the Elements of Byron resort went before the council's planning meeting on Thursday.
The planning proposal seeks for the creation of nine residential lots - under E4 environmental living zoning - to be permitted.
Councillors Alan Hunter and Jan Hackett sought to move ahead with the proposal.
"There's been absolutely no issues here, no one's getting hurt by this process by giving the concession that I think they've earned," Cr Hunter said.
"It's been six years already.
"Council gets 27 hectares locked up for conservation in perpetuity."
Deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye moved to defer action on the proposal.
She said while the proponent had been working on the proposal for about two and a half years, councillors had been given just 10 days to digest it, with a lengthy meeting agenda before them.
Cr Cate Coorey agreed, saying a short delay for them to do their "due diligence" would do "no harm".
North Byron Beach Resort development director Jeremy Holmes spoke during Public Access and asked councillors to support moving the proposal forward.
"We've worked with council staff for more than two and a half years on this proposal," Mr Holmes said.
"We understand there's some concern with the land which lies within the 50-100 year coastal hazard zones."
Mr Holmes said there was "no longer any disagreement or contention" about where these lines fall.
He said a site-specific Development Control Plan would be created for the site in consultation with the council while certain restrictions would be placed on the proposed environmentally-zoned coastal lots.
"(This would) ensure if the ocean ever did come within 50 metres of a building that DA would cease and the building would be demolished or relocated," he said.
"Our history of care at this site … shows, we hope, our investment in ecology as well as our commitment to investment in this community."
The site is currently permitted for tourism activities, and Mr Holmes said this could have capacity for another 500 tourists in the area if the zoning isn't changed.
"In light of that, I think our proposal is quite gentle, with nine homes," he said.
Most councillors voted to defer the matter for discussion at a Strategic Planning Workshop. A report on the proposal will be prepared by council staff in the coming months.