The current public access to the beach would continue unimpeded.

Residents of the proposed future nine houses would also access the beach using this existing accessway.

The pied oystercatcher has appeared in social and print media in relation to this proposal. The photo was not taken on the subject land. They do not nest on or near the subject land. They nest at Belongil Creek in the sands where National Parks, Byron Bird Buddies and Elements of Byron staff work together to provide safe nesting areas.

Subject to both discussions and approvals from the festival and Byron Shire Council we would be looking to rehome the event at an alternative suitable location within the overall property.

"In the ten years that the current owners have owned the site, they have been strong supporters of the festival, and have kept us informed of their plans. Over the years, the festival location has changed a number of times within the Elements/North Byron Beach Resort land, and we have discussed with representatives of the owners over the last couple of years how the festival site could change if a rezoning were approved there. We are keen to continue holding the festival there and the land owners have always shown willingness to continue to support the festival."
Adam van Kempen, Chair Byron Writers Festival

This site is different.

Coastal hazard modelling undertaken by both Byron Shire Council (2013) and Royal HaskoningDHV (2019) confirms that the coastal hazard erosion lines relating to the site have moved substantially seaward. In this regard the site is unlike other sites affected by coastal hazard.

The studies have been done.

The expert assessments to understand the future coastline hazards for the subject site have been completed. There has been no conjecture, no disagreement or grey area regarding the findings.

The timing of this Planning Proposal now relates to:

  • The Shire-wide E-zone review process.
  • The uncertain timeframe to complete the Shire wide Coastal Management Program. It is considered unreasonable to require this site to wait for the outcome of that process given the certainty of the coastal science and conservative approach applied to the proposed rezoning.
  • The opportunity to settle the development potential and ecological protection of this land in perpetuity.

The land proposed for E4 Environmental Living is the old golf course cleared land. It is predominantly exotic grassland with scattered coast banksias and broad-leaved paperbarks. There are also two man made waterbodies with fringing vegetation. The proposed nine houses would be restricted to this E4 area. Commitments include:

  • Minimal site disturbance, given the cleared nature of the subject land.
  • The provision of an appropriate buffer to the dunal vegetation via the application of an E2 Environmental Conservation Zone.
  • Appropriate Asset Protection Zones to address bushfire hazard.

The proposed E4 zoning will include a number of environmental improvements:

  • The management of the ponds within an expanded VMP (vegetation management plan) and extensive landscaping using a suite of locally sourced native trees, shrubs and ground covers;
  • The vegetated buffer around pond margins will be maintained and expanded to include the northern-most pond. This will provide additional potential habitat; and
  • Day visitors and dogs will be excluded from recreational activities around the ponds. Public access to the beach will be retained along a defined pathway which is remote from sensitive habitat areas.

This planning proposal brings the dedication to E2 and E3 conservation zonings up to 60% of the overall property, or 52.5 hectares. The majority of this being E2 Environmental Conservation.

The below extracts are taken from the Byron Shire Council staff report (October 2021) on the planning proposal:

The proposed E4 Environmental Living zone is designed to enable low scale development, which is not anticipated to impact on the biophysical, hydrological or ecological integrity of the adjacent coastal wetland area. Additional design and siting requirements can be considered during the development application stage.

The proposed E4 zone on the cleared section of the subject site will enable low scale residential development which complements the environmental values of the vegetated areas of the site. It is unlikely that any critical habitat or threatened species, populations or ecological communities will be adversely affected as a result of this proposal.

The majority of the land mapped as coastal environment area will not be zoned as
E4 Environmental Living, as it is seaward of the 100 year hazard line.

This planning proposal includes provisions to protect environmentally sensitive areas proposing to rezone significant areas as E2 and E3 environmental zones. No zoning change is proposed on the land subject to coastal hazards.

The text and table below are from the Byron Shire Council staff report (October 2021) on the planning proposal.

The flood advice provided to support the planning proposal, dated 27 November 2019 (Attachment 3), was prepared prior to recent state government changes to how flooding is considered in land use planning.

These changes included the introduction of two standard instrument local environmental plan clauses on flood related development controls and a local planning direction under section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Whilst these new flood planning requirements do not apply where a Gateway has previously been issued as is the case with this PP, further information was requested from the applicant to ensure that the rezoning is appropriate and does not result in subsequent development applications that are inconsistent with the new flooding legislation.

Council’s Infrastructure Planners have reviewed this additional work and are satisfied with the level of assessment undertaken, the data used in the modelling and the resulting outputs.

The following table provides a brief summary of these reports and an assessment of how they responded to the request for information.

Additional flood reports Comment
Review of state governments changes to planning guidelines regarding flood planning levels and how changes to Council’s adopted flood planning level could impact the proposed development,19 July 2021 This report investigated how the new state government flood planning controls affect the development potential of the site. It found that adopting a higher flood planning level at the study site would not prevent the proposed development of the site. Flood hazard and structural considerations were also investigated against a higher design flood event and indicate that the development is still considered feasible under these conditions.
Review of Hydraulic Categorisation resulting in the site being considered ‘no development’ area in the Belongil Creek Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan 2015 (FRMS&P), 3 September 2021 Further investigation was conducted into this site being considered a “No Development” area, in the Belongil Creek Flood Risk Management Study and Plan (FRMS&P). This investigation remodelled the flood risk on the subject site based on the FRMS&P model and using more accurate ground elevation data and improved hydrological inputs. Based on this improved and refined data the updated model does not consider the site as a floodway. It also shows that the site is considered low hazard and under the FRMS&P criteria it would be considered potentially suitable for development.
Verification of the hydraulic model set used to investigate the study area, 16 September 2021 This report provides information relating to the hydraulic model setup for the subject site. It details the updated information used to remodel the existing FRMS&P model including: refined model resolution from 10m to 5m, more accurate ground elevation data (LiDAR), and improved hydrological inputs. It also provides a comparison of the updated model results to the existing FRMS&P.
Assessment of Evacuation Options, 6 October 2021 This report provides a suite of evacuation options to minimise risk to life that don’t rely on sheltering in place. It demonstrates that risk can be reduced and mitigated at the development assessment stage.

Some reconfiguration may be required to provide vehicular access to the lots however most of the existing car parking within the road reserve and constructed by the landowners will remain.

Yes. Several alternative schemes were considered, including the application of the SP3 Tourist Zone, the application of a Large Lot Residential Zone and the application of a Rural Residential Lot Zone. The alternative schemes reviewed all resulted in significantly greater densities of development than the modest singe dwelling scheme proposed. The application of the SP3 Zone, for example, would result in sufficient area to effectively duplicate the existing resort.

The proposal provides for a maximum of nine future lots (subject to a further approval). Traffic movements associated with this number of lots are not significant. It is considered that the intensity of development proposed is minor compared with other potential zoning options.

A report has been prepared by Bushfire Certifiers identifying appropriate asset protection zones (APZ’s). An asset protection zone is an area established and maintained to ensure that bushfire fuels are progressively reduced between the development and the bushfire hazard.

Whilst we have done our best to lay out the current Planning Proposal and longer term vision for this subject site via this website, we understand that some community members will have further questions and/or outstanding issues.

We encourage all to make contact to share their thoughts and questions with us direct.

Please contact enquiries@northbyronbeachresort.com.au or 02 8379 4044 to ask questions and provide feedback.

Thank you.