A major state planning change will come into effect in the Byron Shire from July.
A major state planning change will come into effect in the Byron Shire from July.

‘This is where the outrage should be’: change to hit region

A SIGNIFICANT change to approvals for some developments will come into effect in the Byron Shire from July 1.

Byron Shire Council has voted to continue to lobby state representatives for exclusion zones to the Low Rise Medium Density Code, as councillors agreed to send the State Government a planning proposal related to the code, at last week's planning meeting.

The code will allow low-rise medium density developments to be approved under "compliant development" rules, bypassing local DA processes.

While the council had the code's implementation in the shire pushed back a year, deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye said the changes would overlook complex issues, such as consideration in Mullumbimby of the town's water source, Lavertys Gap Weir, and other infrastructure issues in different parts of the shire.

"This is where there should be outrage," she said.

"This will have much more of an impact on how people live in our community and what kind of development goes on."

According to a council report, the planning proposal "seeks to introduce minimum lot size standards for manor houses and multi-dwelling houses" to secure "the desired future character of our urban towns and villages".

Cr Ndiaye said the new code seemed "city centric" and could lead to development that's "out of character", while placing undue strain on parking and infrastructure.

"At least having a bigger minimum lot size will allow for more public amenity and parking," she said.

But she said other localised complexities remained, with "unregulated holiday letting", low residential housing stock and a low ratepayer base not alleviating the problem.