$10 million koala 'nightclub' DA withdrawn
A CONTROVERSIAL $10 million development application for a major tourism hub and koala hospital has been withdrawn due the high number of submissions against it.
The development application, lodged by Ardill Payne and Partners for land at 18 Pioneers Crescent, Bangalow, was for three bars, a brewery, cafe, retail outlets and performance venue and would also include a koala hospital, koala tree plantation and 12 accommodation pods.
Ardill Payne and Partners town planner, Dwayne Roberts, said the DA had been withdrawn and would likely be dramatically re-designed and re-written because of the number and content of submissions objecting the development.
"The developer Lewis Haigh wants to review and consider the comments provided by the public and re-design and peel back in order to satisfy their concerns,” he said.
"It was the number of submissions which was the biggest concern, because there was a fair amount of consultations with the Chamber of Commerce and Byron Shire Councillors undertaken prior to lodging (the DA).
"Mr Haigh is looking at re-lodging an application, but we are unsure when at this stage.
"It depends on a number of factors ... like what aspects are revised and supporting reports updated to reflect that.
"We've requested a copy of the submissions from council and they take a few weeks to come through.
"He will read them, take them in and consider their concerns and the changes made to the development will reflect the concerns raised by the public.”
He said the koala hospital would not be included in the new DA - ironically because of the negative responses from koala groups.
Mr Haigh has been contacted for comment.
Last month local koala groups were up in arms last month over the DA, saying the did not support the plan and had received no consulted about the koala hospital.
President of Bangalow Koalas, Linda Sparrow, said the group was "really pleased” to hear the DA had been withdrawn in the "final hour”.
"There was only two more days for submissions to go in, and we found out there were 85 objections and only 1 in support for the DA,” Ms Sparrow said.
"It clearly showed what the community thought of the development.”
Bangalow Koalas put in a submission objecting the development because of its location, the lack of consultation and the negative impacts in the koala population and the community of Bangalow.
"They never consulted anyone about the koala hospital - so of course there was going to be a huge black lash - you don't have a Koala hospital within a tourism entertainment development,” she said.
"The location of this development right in the middle of the koala kill hotspot, and just for what it would do for the community of Bangalow. It would destroy the community and charm of Bangalow.
She urged community members to continue voicing their concerns.
"We will wait and see what comes out of the new DA and deal with in appropriately,” she said.
"There was also many things missing from that DA, like an ecology report, so when it does get resubmitted we will be looking very closely at it.”
Byron Shire's acting mayor Michael Lyon said given the large amount of submissions against the proposal, and the scale in the context of the planning rules for rural tourism, it was "advisable” for the DA to be withdrawn.
"I am supportive of any development which meets the rules and guidelines in our LEP and has broad community support,” he said.
"The figures on submissions are accurate, 85 against and 1 agnostic.”