The Planning Process (in detail)

1  State Significant Site Study Process


A. Application to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure

  • In September 2009, the NSW Minister for Planning declared the land as a potential State Significant Site. This meant the land was subject to a State Significant Site Study. The requirements for the Study were issued by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure in November 2009. In summary the study was expected to identify zoning options and a draft development control plan.

For the official notice of the Department of Planning’s gazettal of the land please view the following: Government Gazettal Notice (2009)

B. Study – Investigation phase – environmental and technical studies and consultation with stakeholders (2010)

  • Undertook expert environmental and other technical assessments. These covered acid sulphate soils, Sunnybrand odour, Aboriginal archaeology, bushfire, civil engineering, economics, flooding, flora and fauna, marine ecology, mosquitoes, social impact, traffic, traffic noise, visual impact and water quality.
  • In this phase we also kept the community and other stakeholders informed and sought their feedback on their concerns and issues in relation to these matters. Two rounds of consultations (invited to face to face meetings with project team to discuss concerns and learn about the project) were undertaken with key agencies and community stakeholders. Newsletter No 1 distributed to Byron community in July 2010.

C. Design of zoning options and draft development controls for the site (2010)

  • Professional planners and urban designers assimilated all of the information and issues to create a proposal for zones and other planning controls. An Enquiry by Design (EbD) workshop was held to investigate range of design and planning options. The EbD Workshop brought together key planning, environmental and infrastructure consultants as well as landowners in a collaborative environment to exchange ideas and to establish principles and guidelines for the development. The workshop led participants through a multidisciplinary assessment on site constraints, social and economic factors and opportunities. This was followed by an urban design process that ranges from the regional perspective (the big picture) to the local scale detailing land use, access and the development form.

D. Refinement of preferred option through feedback from stakeholders (completed in early 2011)

  • The stakeholders were informed and preliminary feedback sought from the community, Council and State government departments about the proposed land use plan for West Byron Urban Release Area. This lead to further development.
  • Newsletter No 2 distributed to Byron community and other stakeholders in October 2010. Further face to face meetings undertaken with key stakeholders.

E. Site Significant study and draft zoning plan submitted to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure for assessment. Placed on Public Exhibition by the Department from 12 October 2011 to 14 December 2011)

EXHIBITION PACKAGE State Significant Site Study – proposed Land Use Plan and the Preliminary Development Control Plan Documentation (2011)

  • Assessment of submissions by NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DP&I) (now called NSW Department of Planning & Environment). Recommendations provided to BBWLA. The main issues raised in objections and in the supporting submissions are covered in this website under section called Feedback. Additional field work and planning was undertaken by BBWLA consultants.

F. Draft plan further amended by the Department and then put on Exhibition.

Documents included the Draft SEPP Amendment (West Byron Bay) 2013, The Draft West Byron Bay Urban Release Area Development Control Plan 2013 and the Draft West Byron Voluntary Planning Agreement (28 November 2013 to 31 January 2014) by Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

  • Formal feedback period managed by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. The proposed rezoning plan was placed on public exhibition for 64 days in November 2013 by the Department of Planning.
  • BBWLA’s analysis determined that of the 418 public submissions, 171 (41 per cent) expressed support and 247 (59 per cent) objected to the proposal and/or provided comments about what they wanted changed.

SEE EXHIBITION PACKAGES West Byron SEPP Exhibition Package 2013)

G. The NSW Department of Planning and Environment announced approval of the West Byron Bay rezoning plan and made a determination and listing of the site in Schedule 3 of SEPP Major Projects as a State Significant Site on Friday the 7th of November, 2014.

Information on the zoning is detailed in the State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (West Byron Bay) 2014 under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

  • The Gazetted Amendment outlines the Zones and their objectives that have been approved for West Byron. In summary, the Land use zones were accepted as proposed. Please refer to the map in section xxx to identify the land that falls within these Zones.
    • (a) Zone R2 Low Density Residential,
    • (b) Zone R3 Medium Density Residential,
    • (c) Zone B1 Neighbourhood Centre,
    • (d) Zone IN2 Light Industrial,
    • (e) Zone RE1 Public Recreation,
    • (f) Zone E2 Environmental Conservation,
    • (g) Zone E3 Environmental Management.

The amendment also outlines specifications in relation to:

  • Subdivision—consent requirements and the specifics of lot sizes for development
  • Maximum building heights
  • The authorities required to buy land that has been reserved for public purposes
  • Controls relating to miscellaneous permissible uses
  • Preservation of trees or vegetation
  • Heritage conservation
  • Bush fire hazard reduction
  • Eco-tourist facilities
  • Acid sulfate soils
  • Flood planning
  • Arrangements for designated State public infrastructure and Public utility infrastructure
  • The specifics of the development control plan to be provided before any development on the land can occur.

2  Design and Development of shared infrastructure master plan including road design, servicing strategies and super lot layouts etc.

H. The Development Application for Shared Infrastructure Design and various plans has been underway since 2016.

The first West Byron Development Application Exhibition was submitted to Byron Shire Council late 2017 and put on exhibition from 14 December 2017 until 29 March 2018. The West Byron Development Application (DA) applied for the lands (approximately 58 hectares) to be subdivided into 31 hectares zoned for conservation and 27 hectares to be zoned for low – and medium- density housing, light industrial and a neighbourhood centre.

No decision was made following this first Exhibition of the DA. Council sort further assessments and information of BBWLA and this was provided to Council in mid-2018. The delay in feedback lead BBWLA to seek Conciliation with Council but no agreement was reached. Council subsequently referred the DA to Joint Regional Planning Panel who then rejected the DA in February 2019.

Since then BBWLA was requested to once again provide further evidence to support their DA. An Amended DA was submitted to Council and placed on exhibition starting the 11th of March 2020 for 4 weeks but extended by Council for an additional 4 weeks.

** Currently the Council and BBWLA are before the Land & Environment Court. If the DA is accepted, the process will require submission of Construction Certificates before the subdivision construction can occur, manage the construction of various stages of the release area and register the subdivisions.