AFFORDABLE: A previous Kollective development in Sunrise Estate Byron Bay.
AFFORDABLE: A previous Kollective development in Sunrise Estate Byron Bay. Christian Morrow

'Build to rent': Accusations fly over Byron development

LOCAL affordable housing company The Kollective have copped blow back from locals over their development plans in Sunrise Beach Byron Bay.

Residents have taken a swipe at the company on social media over plans to build eight 2-storey units on a single block in Julian Rocks Rd.

Two of the 8 units are designated as being 'affordable housing,' but some suspect the inclusion of affordable housing is a way to facilitate inappropriate over-development.

Robert Gibson wrote he was, "shocked to discover that The Kollective... have purchased 3 adjacent established residential properties in... Sunrise Beach Estate...and have lodged a DA for number 6 Julian Rocks Drive, to demolish the already existing home, construct eight 2 story units and only provide 6 car parking spaces."

"...numbers 7 and 9 Julian Rocks Drive will be knocked down to build another 20 more (units)," he said.

In a comment Mayor Simon Richardson said although he has not seen the specific development proposal he offered 'in principal support' to the idea of "urban consolidation (increasing density by having a few town houses in place of one house)" over "urban sprawl (creating new housing areas where there is currently open land.)

Cr Richardson indicated it was the state government who made the rules around these (kinds of developments) and was "worth trying to focus on those who actually create the rules- we have a state member who could be lobbied as well as a government upper house member who lives in Byron too."

This is not the first time the Kollective has attracted the ire of local communities.

A similar development in Stewart Street Mullumbimby was challenged in council with locals claiming the "affordable housing" component was priced beyond the reach of local low income earners.

The Kollective developments are built under State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) 15 which requires any development to include 30 per cent affordable-housing. In turn SEPP 15 allows for an increase in the floor space ratio of the proposed buildings and less car parking to made available.

Phil Agnew from The Kollective Life told the Byron Shire News his company was, "not a social hosing provider and does not provide holiday-let accommodation.

"The Kollective does not permit its tenants to sublet via Air BnB or similar holiday let platforms," he said.

"We provide long-term rental accommodation that is aimed at key workers.

"The proposed development at 6 Julian Rocks Drive, Byron Bay was another example of The Kollective's 'Build to Rent' strategy."

"This strategy aims to deliver long term affordable alternate housing choice for singles and couples wanting to live close to retail, commercial, medical and educational facilities."

He also said there were currently no DA plans available for 7 and 9 Julian Rocks Drive.