It was a full house as the Joint Regional Planning Panel revealed its decision on the controversial West Byron development.
It was a full house as the Joint Regional Planning Panel revealed its decision on the controversial West Byron development.

Why this 387-lot development was finally rejected

A $40 MILLION development at West Byron for a 387-lot subdivision was rejected by the Northern Joint Planning Panel after it was deemed inappropriate for the location.

The news was received with an enthusiastic standing ovation by hundreds of community members.

The West Byron Landowners Group's plan for a controversial development near Ewingsdale Rd was unanimously rejected by members of the JRPP at the commencement of the meeting in Byron Bay yesterday afternoon.

JRPP Chairman Gary West said based in the evidence provided to the panel there were "a number of unresolved issues with the earthworks and the filling".

Mr West acknowledge the identified land was "mapped with a number of constraints".

"As people know the panel has taken a different view of what the assessment report has done but on this occasion this land has been identified part of a development area and as part of an urban growth area, but I can understand the frustration on the part of the applicant, the council and the community.

"There are still some major issues to do with flow rates in the main drag of Belongil Creek and the capacity to handle it."

Mr West said the JRPP's reasons for rejection will form part of the council's presentation to the court on February 9.

Applicant representative Stewart Murray addressed the panel to dissuade them and said he didn't understand the complaints around noise concerns.

"There is no rock, it's sand, there is no excavation because it is fill - you don't blast," Mr Murray said.

He also said the DA had been misinformed several times and the council's assessment was a "political report not an objective report".

"Since 2014, 22 reports in the media quoted incorrect numbers of dwellings with some saying there was up to 2000 dwellings, but the objective truth is there was 700 from both developments."

He said three surveys identified up to three koalas in the area over 10 years and another survey found no frogs which both were flagged under environmental concerns.

During public exhibition 2218 submissions were received by the council.

"I read through most of the DAs and there were good points in some but others were not related to the DA at all and they were still included," Mr Murray said.

Panellist Stephen Gow said the site has a "high level of environmental sensitivity".

"Based on the evidence provided to us in the assessment report I don't consider the development to be appropriate for the context of the place in which it is intended to go," Mr Gow said.

"I appreciate in this case why Council would request these issues to be addressed prior to the determination particularly when you consider this 300,000 cubic metres of fill coming on to the site."