‘Rural’ land use strategy a plan to suburbanise

Council’s Rural Land Use Strategy is currently on exhibition.

Seven new towns for Byron Shire?

Byron Shire Council has grand plans for us. Their Rural Land Use Strategy is primarily a 20-year urban release strategy, identifying some 745ha of rural land suitable for urban development. This could represent over 12,000 houses.

Council is proposing seven new town/suburb areas: two west of Byron (Skinners Shoot and adjoining Ewingsdale), one south of Brunswick Heads (Dungeons Road), three north of Mullumbimby (Saddle Road, Mullumbimby Creek, Coolamon Scenic Drive) and one south of Billinudgel.

Once such lands are identified in a strategy, it is just a matter of time before they proceed. Though Council is saying there is no need to panic because they are going to prepare a residential strategy to prioritise their release over the next 20 years. I will be surprised if they don’t immediately release them all.

This is in addition to the 400-800 houses they are proposing for development as Large Lot Residential Subdivision, Multiple Occupancy development or Rural Community Title Subdivision in seven other areas.

Personally I support the concept of slowing our growth, not accelerating it.  We already have enough land zoned for development to keep us growing at a rapid rate for the next 20 years. We don’t need more rural land released.

You have until the 20 May to comment on the draft Byron Shire Rural Land Use Strategy, though you can be sure that council doesn’t care what you think.

Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay

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