Call for Planning Minister to intervene in Belongil rock wall & Ewingsdale rezoning

Rally Opposing Belongil Beach Rockwalls

Greens North Coast spokesperson, Jan Barham MLC, has called for NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes stop a decision for a 1km rockwall at the Belongil and the rezoning of land at Ewingsdale for a seniors and commercial development.

“I’m outraged by the actions of Byron Shire Council in overturning planning principles that have been in place since 1988 for the coast and for strategic residential and commercial development. The current council is acting against the interests of the residents of Byron Shire,” said Ms Barham.

“It is a folly to consider that it is feasible to defend the coastline. It is also an affront to many residents as the planned retreat principle was advised to owners prior to their purchase of coastal land. It appears that the current council is willing to advance the property interests of a few and require Byron Shire’s residents to pay for it.

“Byron Council cannot be allowed to proceed with such irresponsible considerations that undermine solid planning principles. The community is not being informed of future liability and there seems to be no regard for the history and property owners’ prior knowledge of risk. Also, advice regarding the legal implications of reversing the long-standing and legally upheld principle of Planned Retreat hasn’t been made known to the community.

“The Ewingsdale rezoning for a seniors and commercial development does not meet the State Planning requirements to have a Local Growth Management Strategy in place. In the last 30 years this site has never been considered for residential and or commercial development.

“I am calling on Planning Minister Rob Stokes to step in and stop Byron Council from making a decision to support the building of a 1 kilometre rockwall at Belongil and an unwarranted and unwanted rezoning at Ewingsdale.

“The current majority on council are out of control and are putting at risk the future of Byron Shire. The impacts of such poor decisions have ecological, social, infrastructure and financial implications that have not been adequately assessed or supported by the community. The legal implications must also be addressed before more irresponsible decisions are made. It’s time for the Planning Minister to exercise his powers over Byron Shire Council and stop the madness,” said Ms Barham.

The Minister released new draft coastal planning laws last year and the submission period has just finalised, with new legislation due to be introduced into Parliament in the coming months. The State is a major stakeholder in coastal management with the beaches that will be affected being Crown Land.

For further comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

Letter from Jan Barham MLC to the NSW Minister for Planning