Monday, 24 April 2017

NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts pressuring Byron Shire Council on behalf of millionaire developer

The Northern Star, 20 April 2017:

BYRON Shire Councillor Cate Coorey has reacted angrily to a letter received by council from NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts, pushing council to make a Draft Control Plan for the West Byron site that she and a number of other councillors see as flawed.

At a meeting on November 17 last year, council resolved "that subject to peer reviews of frog, koala, traffic, and water and flood management reports, council (should) approve the Byron Shire Development Control Plan 2014".

Instead, the Planning Minister is pushing council to make the DCP without the reports…..                                                                                                                                                                      
"The minister that approved this rezoning never came to Byron and does not understand the site.

"Now this new Planning Minister is doing the same. The State Government ignores what the people of Byron want."

"The previous council did nothing with this DCP - they were happy to accept the one put forward by the developers, which took no account of the major issues with the site - koalas, endangered frog habitat, acid sulfate soils, flooding and traffic.

"This council is trying to address these serious issues and we are being bullied by the minister, who is threatening to make the DCP himself if we don't submit the inadequate one that we were trying to amend.

"Minister's letter to us says - the proposed amendments, if pursued, would likely result in significant land-forming works and clearing to enable drainage, and a loss of dwelling yield across the site.

"Drainage on West Byron is fundamental to the site……

According to a 20 April 2017 newsletter from the Saddle Ridge Community Action Group

Today was a terrific day at the Byron Shire Council meeting.

Four substantial motions that went against staff recommendations.

1.  A motion to return public lands in Brunswick Heads to the community from North Coast Holiday Parks and a restriction limiting them from expanding into the Cypress Pine WW1 memorial grove.  We now have to wait if North Coast Holiday parks will challenge this legally.

2. A motion blocking any attempt to allow heliport operations at Tyagarah airfield and a further motion raising a number of significant issues that need to be addressed before any further expansion and intensification of the airfield goes ahead.

3.  A final attempt by council to write to the Minister seeking peer review of certain elements of the West Byron DCP before it is signed off by the Minister.

4.  The re-exhibition of the Byron Rural Land Use Strategy for a further 28 days with a report to be brought to council before it is again sent back to the Minister.

[my yellow highlighting]


The Northern Star, 5 June 2014:

A QUEENSLAND property developer is understood to have bought a major share of the controversial West Byron development.
The Byron Residents' Group, which opposes the development, described the new landowner, property developer Terry Agnew, as "a big player in the Sydney CBD property market" who is about to start building a major resort development on Great Keppel Island.
"We have always been concerned that the West Byron landowners were simply trying to get the development approved before selling out to a developer who could afford to undertake a project of this size," Cate Coorey of Byron Residents' Group said.
"For a long time we have been told that it is local people involved in this development and they have the community's best interests at heart. Now that a major developer has bought this parcel, it changes the landscape quite a bit."

The Northern Star, 5 May 2015:

IT WAS claimed that the West Byron development would alleviate housing distress and make housing more affordable.

But the Byron Residents' Group says recent media reports show this claim to be bogus.

Spokesperson Cate Coorey says the truth about the planned development, a 108 hectare housing/commercial estate opposite the industrial estate on Ewingsdale Road, has started to emerge with reports saying the major landowners are "planning to develop about 500 houses on 600sqm lots to be priced from $850,000 on a 70ha site."

"I doubt many people who are looking to buy "affordable" homes would be considering $850,000 plus price tags," she said.

The reference to the price of the planned homes was in a report in the Weekend Australian.

Echo NetDaily, 21 September 2015:

A major player in the controversial West Byron development appears to be pulling the plug on his holding just days before the council’s Development Control Plan (DCP) for the subdivision is due to go on exhibition.
Prominent Sydney CBD property developer Terry Agnew bought a sizeable portion of the project early last year from failed local property company Crighton.

He now looks set to make millions of dollars in profit just for sitting on the land for a matter of months.

Mr Agnew’s company Tower Holdings has refused to comment on the issue but a sizeable advertisement appeared in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, with a bird’s-eye view of the land for sale, which appears to be his holding.

In May this year Mr Agnew was spruiking the high prices of Byron land and this is echoed in the ad, which reads ‘Byron Bay median house price is now $966,000.’

The ad says the parcel potentially contains allotments for ‘300-450 dwellings’

The Australian, 10 September 2016:
Property developer and Great Keppel Island owner Terry Agnew’s mansion Rona, fronting Fairfax Road, Bellevue Hill, will soon hit the market through Laing & Simmons agent Bart Doff, as revealed in The Australian earlier this week. Doff says the property is a “beautifully renovated six-bedroom mansion with Opera House and Harbour Bridge views as well as uninterrupted views north to Manly”. Agnew is decamping further north to his Wategos Beach mansion in scenic Byron Bay. His daughter, a champion rower, is moving to the US to study while Agnew’s son is weeks away from completing his senior schooling — hence the desire to downsize.

The Australian,  7 September 2016:

 Rona, one of the ­nation’s grandest estates, will hit the market officially with hopes of $65 million.
Rona’s vendor, property developer Terry Agnew, paid $20.5m for the 45-room estate at 49-51 Fairfax Road, Bellevue Hill, in January 2005.

Echo NetDaily, 12 April 2017:

A planning ‘instrument’ that gives the community and councillors a say on one of the largest Byron Bay suburbs in a generation has been circumvented by Gold Coast developer Villa World Ltd.

Instead, a 290-lot development application (DA) was lodged for around a third of West Byron land last week.

Villa World say they are in a joint venture partnership with Sydney-based developer Terry Agnew, who purchased approximately a third of the 108 hectare lot around two years ago.

The land is located opposite the arts and industry estate on Ewingsdale Road.

Councillors and staff had been working through a revised development control plan (DCP); however, Villa World development manager Peter Johnson told The Echo that owing to a change in NSW premier and planning minister, the company were unsure of a determination timeline and have instead circumvented the DCP.

A DCP is a specific planning ‘instrument’ for the site, and aims to address specifics such as traffic and the endangered koala and frog habitats.

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