North Byron Parklands’ planning process continues

Following two days of public meetings with the Planning and Assessment Commission North Byron Parklands’ General Manager Mat Morris thanked those who addressed the gatherings.

“No matter how much we have consulted with individuals and groups, there are people who feel they lack information about our proposal” said Mr Morris. “To these people I say thank you for attending and please make contact with us at any time to discuss your concerns. Some of these will need to be addressed over time, however most we can answer so we encourage those concerned to come direct to us”.

Town Planner for North Byron Parklands, Steve Connelly, has responded to comment about the BluesFest site at Tyagarah. “North Byron Parklands purchased and amalgamated two adjoining sites to create a potential cultural event venue, in consultation with Byron Council, in 2006” he said. “The site was purchased two years prior to the sale of Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm to Bluesfest. The Tyagarah site’s “community license to operate” stems from the repeated undertakings of the site’s owner that it is a single event site only. No DA approval exists to use the site for two events. Apart from these immediate restrictions the site is not suitable as a long term home for Splendour in the Grass on a variety of planning and operational criteria”.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has recommended approval for North Byron Parklands however the Minister has handed the final decision to the Planning and Assessment Commission.

The Director-General of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s Environmental Assessment Report states:
Public benefits of the proposal include:

  • The creation of 15 full time construction jobs and 115 full time equivalent jobs during operation of the project;
  • Rehabilitation and revegetation works along Marshalls Ridge, strengthening this area as a vegetated wildlife corridor, and;
  • The creation of permanent new habitat with constructed wetlands along the boundary of the Billinudgel Nature Reserve.

The Department’s recommendation is for the site to carry out three major events of 30,000; 25,000; and 15,000 patrons respectively over a single calendar year for the first year of operation (over a maximum of ten event days). A single event of 30,000 patrons may be carried out in perpetuity should the proponent meet all KPIs (key performance indicators) after the first year of operation.

Should the proponent seek to increase the size of events, this will be at the discretion of the Director-General following consideration of a KPI Report, and any other matters the Director-General considers relevant.

The recommendation to increase the size of events of no more than 5,000 patrons per event, per calendar year will ensure that any intensification of site usage is gradual, with sufficient time for monitoring and reporting of any residual impacts; and for the implementation of further management measures.

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