The NSW Department of Planning and Environment last week announced approval of the West Byron Bay rezoning plan.
The plan aims to ease the housing affordability crisis in the region by implementing the development of 1,100 new dwellings on a new urban release area west of Byron Bay.
UrbAnalyst the 108-hectare site is located west of Belongil Creek and on the southern side of Ewingsdale Road and 2.5 kilometres west of the Byron Bay town centre. According to the Department, the development of the site could generate up to 800 new jobs during construction.
A Department spokesperson said people living in the new homes will live within walking or cycling distance of the town centre. They said 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.""Although the approval means land owners can now get to work and start to improve housing affordability in the region, the NSW Government will continue to work with Byron Shire Council to ensure development is appropriate for the region."According to the Department, Byron Shire Council will be the consent authority for all development applications for the rezoned land.
"The Department is now working with Council to finalise the West Byron Development Control Plan," the spokesperson said.
The UrbAnalyst says approval follows detailed consultation with the community and Byron Shire Council to address issues around traffic, protecting the environment and the impact of the area's acid sulphate soils.
"The NSW Government's recent announcement of $10.5 million toward a road bypass of Byron Bay town centre will make a significant dent in local traffic congestion," the spokesperson said.
"Importantly, through the rezoning approval, we're making the developer pay almost $8 million to the community for local road upgrades."The spokesperson said the approval is a good outcome for Byron Bay's unique natural environment, with more land protected than previously proposed.
"About 40 per cent of the site is now reserved for environmental management and conservation to protect and rehabilitate vegetation and establish buffer zones to Belongil Creek and wetlands," the spokesperson said.
"This was increased from 35 percent in a previous proposal which identified an area in the north east of the site for residential development. In addition, a drainage reserve has been redesigned to protect native vegetation and koala habitat.
Koalas will continue to be protected because developers must submit an effective koala management plan before any development application for koala habitat land will be determined.
The rezoning proposal attracted 418 public submissions, with 171 (41 per cent) expressing support and 247 (59 per cent) objecting to the proposal or providing comments.
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