Crowds enjoy DZ Deathrays' set at Splendour in the Grass 2018.
Crowds enjoy DZ Deathrays' set at Splendour in the Grass 2018. CHARLIE HARDY

Festival venue gets green light for $42 million upgrade

BYRON music festivals Falls and Splendour in the Grass Festivals have a permanent home.

The state's Independent Planning Commission (IPC) today signed-off on a $42-million development application for North Byron Parklands.

The IPCN put in place strict conditions of consent to address residents' concerns about crowd numbers, noise, traffic and sewage and wastewater management, and to achieve appropriate environmental and social outcomes.

Billinudgel Property Pty Ltd (the developer) lodged a state significant development application with the Department of Planning & Environment for the ongoing use of the site on Tweed Valley Way, Yelgun, for up to 20 event days per year.

Under the proposal Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass will be able to continue to be held over a maximum of five days each.

Total maximum daily patron numbers would rise to 35,000 and 50,000 respectively, the latter being a staged increase, conditional on the applicant demonstrating its management and mitigation measures are effective.

The Parklands will be allowed to also host three 'medium' event days for up to 25,000 patrons per day; five 'small' event days for up to 5,000 patrons per day; and two 'minor' day-long community events for up to 1,500 patrons

Also, an administration building, conference centre, road and transport infrastructure and other amenities would be built within the Parklands to support the staging of events on site.

Billinudgel Property Pty Ltd celebrated the confirmation by the IPCN.

"While the owners of Parklands (which is proudly 100% Australian owned) have invested more than $25m into the venue to date, the permanent approval means Parklands can invest further to improve the functionality and amenity of the site," North Byron Parklands General Manager, Mat Morris, said.

"Parklands and the two major events will continue to provide the annual Community Grants program which since 2013 has given over $630,000 to community, educational and environmental groups across the Shire," he added.

"Significant employment opportunities will continue to be generated by the venue, with large numbers of individuals and businesses benefiting from operations at Parklands.

According to an agreement signed with the NSW Environment Minister, Parklands will also finalise the gifting of more than 41ha of densely forested lands to National Parks and Wildlife Services that will increase the size of the Billinudgel Nature Reserve by more than 3 per cent.

The IPC concluded the developer demonstrated throughout the five-year trial period that it can adequately manage outdoor events for up to 35,000 people at the site.

The Commission's full Statement of Reasons for Decision is available in the IPCN's website.