The New South Wales Government has approved the rezoning of land at West Byron Bay which will now allow a major housing development to go ahead despite strong community opposition.
The Government says the development will ease housing affordability issues in the region and generate up to 800 new jobs during construction.
But the Byron Mayor, Simon Richardson, says the government is using housing affordability as an excuse to get away with inappropriate developments.
He says only the rich will be able to afford the homes.
“You are talking about a couple of kilometres out of Byron Bay, so certainly if you looked at the economics of it one would suggest that the houses would probably be at the high end of the scale,” he said.
“So I do not think anybody would consider that affordable unless you are currently living in Sydney’s rich suburb of Woollahra, or Brighton in Melbourne,” said Mayor Richardson.
“Local decisions should be made by local councils who know the issues and not by people in Sydney,”.
Most Byron residents are opposed to the development and say it will ruin the environment and add to the town’s traffic problems.
Cate Coorey, of the Byron Residents Group, says the government has completely ignored the community’s concerns and gone ahead with the project.
The Group, which fought hard against the development, cited high-use koala habitat, acid sulphate soils, and traffic congestion, as major arguments against it.
Ms Coorey warns that the community will react to the decision.
“Byron residents are known to fight issues like this and we will continue to do so.”
Source: ABC News