North Byron Parklands, home to Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass, has been granted a 20-month extension to its five-year trial by the independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).
The original five year trial period ended on December 31, 2017, leaving two days of the Falls Festival without permission to go ahed.
The approval now means that the Byron leg of the Falls Music and Arts Festival 2017/2018, Splendour in the Grass 2018, Falls 2018/2019 and Splendour 2019 will go ahead at North Byron Parklands, organisers said.
Other than the extension of time, there were no additional changes sought in the application.
North Byron Parklands general manager Mat Morris said, ‘The decision provides certainty, not only for the two world class festivals held at this site, but for hundreds of local businesses and individuals who generate income from these events. The decision also reflects the ongoing improvements to performance across a range of key areas such as traffic and noise.’
Community association unhappy
However, the South Golden Beach Community Association vice-president, Denise Nessel said, ‘The PAC ignored major concerns about ecological and social impacts, accepting Parklands’ claims that the events have only a negligible effect on the sensitive ecological area and that they are appropriately “managing” all the social impacts.’
‘The PAC appears to have spent minimal time reviewing the detailed submissions sent by objectors. The quick decision strongly suggests that they had made up their minds to approve the extension before the public hearing.’
North Byron Parklands is now in the process of putting together its final application to become a permanent music, arts and community events venue.
Morris said, ‘I’m also very excited to announce that a substantial land swap has now been formalised as part of this modification approval.’
‘This will see approximately 25 hectares of ecologically significant land added to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve. We now look forward to finalising our plans to become a permanent, world class sustainable venue.’