Sunday, 12 October 2014

NSW North Coast development referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption

A tale the NSW North Coast has heard many times before – a metropolitan-based developer is allegedly using a handful of local investors to hopefully cloak his proposed over-development with a modicum of legitimacy.

West Byron at North Coast Nature


Dear Warren Simmons, Peter Croke, Gary Macdonald, Alan Heathcote, Tony Smith, Terry Agnew, Timothy Stringer, Ronald Geeves, David O’Connor, Kevin Rodgers and Richard Sykes,
We, the people of Byron Bay,  want to let you know that we believe you would be doing an irreversible harm to our town if your proposed rezoning and subsequent development of the West Byron wetlands goes through.
If this land is rezoned for intensive residential and industrial development, our lovely low-key, laid-back town would become a congested mess and look like so many other ruined coastal towns. The natural environment that brings people here must be protected; we will not accept more appalling traffic queues into town and an overcrowded parking nightmare.
We have asked, via your representative Stuart Murray, for meetings and for genuine community consultation but you have declined. You can do something about this terrible plan. You can stop it. For your property you can submit a more reasonable proposal to Council that avoids the most sensitive areas, enables an amount of development that will not overwhelm Byron’s ability to cope with it and still makes you sizeable profits.
Please consider the wellbeing of Byron Bay residents, the tourism industry, local koalas and the Belongil estuary and don’t attempt to sacrifice them for your profit. We will not accept this development.
See full list of signatures here.

Echo NetDaily 1 October 2014:

The West Byron development proposal is to be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today (Tuesday) by NSW Greens MLC and former Byron mayor Jan Barham.
Ms Barham told The Echo that the site ‘may have been wrongly defined’ and is worthy of investigation. ‘The community deserves to be assured that a project of this scale has not been brought forward for state approval wrongly.’
‘I believe that it is important that this matter is clarified before any assessment of the proposal by the government,’ she said.
The 108-hectare land is currently under planning minister Pru Goward’s determination for large-scale housing/industrial development, and sits just 2.5 kilometres west of the CBD on Ewingsdale Road.The Echo understands that Sydney-based developer Terry Agnew is by far the largest shareholder at around 80 per cent, along with other local investors.
Ms Barham says there appears to be ‘irregularities’ from when the site was defined in 2009 as West Byron Bay Urban Release Area for inclusion in the Major Development SEPP.
It comes after a meeting was held between Ms Barham, local state MP Don Page (Nationals) and members from the Byron Residents Group last week……

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