A revised West Byron housing development proposal has been lodged with Byron Shire Council.
A revised West Byron housing development proposal has been lodged with Byron Shire Council.

New West Byron DA is on public exhibition, but then what?

AN amended development application for a $40m housing development is on public exhibition with Byron Shire Council.

But when that process is finalised, the Northern Regional Planning Panel will not start again.

The council’s legal counsel, Ralph James, has explained what will happen next.

The proposal, first lodged in late 2017, was formally refused by the planning panel in February 2019.

But new documents for the 162-lot Ewingsdale Rd proposal have since been lodged.

It’s on public exhibition with the council until April 9.

Mr James acknowledged that timeline might be difficult for some who want to lodge a submission, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the council was consulting with external lawyers on whether this timeline could be adjusted.

A key issue is that the council must adhere to a timeline set by the Land and Environment Court.

A hearing before that court has been set down for November 9 to 13 this year.

The council is due to file its statement of facts and contentions with the court by June 10.

The process of notifying on the amended DA must sit into that deadline, he said.

“The court hasn’t put a deadline on (notifying) but … we need to have that process done so we can then review all the submissions and factor them into our assessment,” Mr James said.

“We have to comply with that June 10 deadline.”

Submissions received by the council will be considered by its various experts in different fields as part of that process.

“After that, all of the written submissions that we get are given to the court and they become evidence in the proceedings,” he said.

“We’ve really got to work to that timeline but we are trying to assist the residents (without) falling foul of the court.”

Up to six objectors may be given the opportunity to address the Commissioner during the hearing.

Having received thousands of submissions last time the DA was before them, Mr James said keeping that number down made the process more manageable while allowing them to focus on key areas of objection, including traffic, ecology and density.

More than 50 documents are available on the council’s website as part of the amended DA process.

The proposed development would comprise 12 stages and would include a new roundabout on Ewingsdale Rd and an access road from the Bayshore Drive roundabout to the subdivision and bulk earthworks, including about 470,000 cubic metres of fill being brought onto the site.

An acoustic fence is proposed along Ewingsdale Rd.

The documents are available on the council’s website; the DA number is 10.2017.661.1.