COASTAL ZONE: Council takes first of five big steps to come up with a plan to protect the community's biggest asset.
COASTAL ZONE: Council takes first of five big steps to come up with a plan to protect the community's biggest asset. Christian Morrow

Three big issues for Byron Council's planning meeting

THE long and complex task of putting together a Coastal management plan for Byron Bay will continue with council looking to get public comment on the Scoping Study for Cape Byron to South Golden Beach Coastal Management Plan out for public comment until January 10 next year.

This is just one of three big long running planning matters councillors will discus at the meeting this Thursday at the Chambers in Mullumbimby.

This is the beginning of a five stage process to come up with a plan to aimed at setting up a long-term strategy for the co-ordinated management of land within the coastal zone, with a focus on achieving the objects of the Coastal Management Act.

Council will also send the Scoping Study to key stakeholders and state agencies for their review and comment.

Agencies with a role or responsibility associated with recommended actions/studies/components in the Forward Plan will be asked to provide formal support and clarification of their role and responsibilites.

Staff would then report back to council in February 2020 on the outcomes of public comment, key stakeholder and state agency review.

Council continues to grapple with varying community reactions to the introduction of 5G cell phone technology in Byron Shire.

Council had sought to convene and facilitate a public information event but there has been difficulty securing representatives from organisations such as Telstra or ARPANSA.

The recommendation from staff is instead is that council discontinue efforts to stage a public forum and instead writes to the Federal Minister for Communications, the Shadow Minister for Communications, and Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot MP seeking assurance community about 5G network technologies are being assessed and taken into consideration.

Council will also be looking to move along the development of the old hospital site after a community-led steering committee put together a proposal for its re-use as education and community facilities and administrative offices for arts, community and welfare organisations.

Work on the building is progressing and now to achieve the remaining nominated uses, including the provision of office space, a commercial kitchen and a café, a planning proposal is required to amend the Byron Local Environmental Plan (LEP).

Councillors will be voting on whether to send the planning proposal to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for Gateway determination and also to put the plan on public exhibition.