Plans for the two-storey development at Newrybar. Source: Ballina Shire Council
Plans for the two-storey development at Newrybar. Source: Ballina Shire Council

Why Ballina council rejected plans for two-storey house

A COUPLE'S plans to build a two-storey house and swimming pool on a scenic Newrybar property have been scuttled.

The couple had hoped to capitalise on the property's most spectacular views on the 36-hectare property off Old Byron Bay Road.

However Ballina Shire Council found, the dwelling's proposed site on the escarpment was a deciding factor in the downfall of the plans.

The plans also included "decommissioning" the existing house and the construction of an access road, which had already been built.

Neighbours were not impressed with the proposal, with more than a dozen penning objections to the plans, citing privacy concerns, impact on views, and environmental concerns.

Council officially refused the development application on Friday, January 10.

In the refusal council cited two reasons the development was inconsistent with the objectives of the Environmental Protection Zone and the impacts of the development did not meet the requirements of the Ballina Shire Development Control Plan.

The matter was debated exhaustively at recent council meetings.

Councillor Keith Williams was concerned the building was inconsistent with the area's planning rules.

"This development does not protect and enhance areas of particular scenic value to the local government area of Ballina," Cr Williams said.

He added that the proponents had form, raising a matter contested in court in 2016, and successfully prosecuted by the council against the landowners.

"The owners built a road without authorisation," Cr Williams said.

"We are making it easier to seek forgiveness than permission and that is what this DA does. If we allow this culture to continue in our shire we will be swamped."

Councillor Phillip Meehan argued a refusal on that basis would be petty.

"We are treading on very dangerous ground to make decisions based upon past grievances," Cr Meehan said.

The landowners are still within their rights to challenge council's decision in the NSW Land and Environment Court.

Mayor David Wright aired fears it was a case the council may not be able to win.

"I don't want this to go to the Land and Environment Court," he said.

"So many people have already got approval for the same thing."

In the December council meeting, six councillors voted in favour of rejecting the DA and four voted against the rejection.