Byron Bay festival venue gets green light
SPLENDOUR in the Grass and the Falls Music and Arts Festival have been confirmed at the North Byron Parklands site for another 20 months after the independent Planning Assessment Commission gave the green light to the venue.
The assessment report from the Department of Planning and Environment was sent to the Commission for a final decision, which considered whether to extend until August 2019, a trial period for outdoor events of up to 35,000 patrons.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the festivals provided significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the local Byron area and the state.
"The Commission's decision to approve the extension means the Byron area can continue to be an exciting cultural hub for the state, hosting two further Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival events,” Mr Roberts said.
"To date, nine music events have taken place at the site, each time improving the operation.
"To have the extension approved by the Commission is a great outcome.”
The Department publicly exhibited the modification request in March-April this year.
The Department received 634 submissions, including seven from government authorities, 14 from community groups and 613 from the general public.
"The local community has been clear in submissions about what has worked well in past events and what needs to be improved to ensure minimal noise and traffic disruptions,” Mr Roberts said.
"This is a great example of effective community consultation where those directly affected by the events can have their say on issues in their local area.”
North Byron Parklands confirtmed it is now in the process of putting together its final application to become a permanent sustainable music, arts and community events venue.
North Byron Parklands General Manager Mat Morris celebrated the decision.
"The decision announced today 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,” he said.
"The decision also reflects the ongoing improvements to performance across a range of key areas such as traffic and noise.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of people over the years who have contacted me voicing their support for this amazing project.”
Mr Morris also confirmed that a substantial land swap has now been formalised as part of the modification approval.
"This will see approximately 25 hectares of ecologically-significant land added to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve,” he said..
"We now look forward to finalising our plans to become a permanent, world class sustainable venue.”