The appearance of a substantial temporary structure erected on Byron Bay’s Clarkes Beach yesterday ahead of a planned corporate event tonight has concerned locals, not least mayor Simon Richardson.
The function will involve the consumption of alcohol, something that is normally banned at the beach, and has been approved by council officers under delegation.
Echonetdaily was informed of the structure by local resident Chris Brady, who came upon it during his morning walk yesterday.
‘Morning walk at Clarkes beach,’ he wrote.
‘Just wondering is this a beginning of a new predicted to pay “what you like to be able to do as you like” era? Very sad to see such a construction. Concerned local money speaks all languages.’
Cr Richardson said he was also concerned about the precedent it might set.
‘It was a bit of a shock for me too, to be honest. It’s quite a large structure, so we need to … look at it and make sure we have a clear policy direction on how often something like that might happen, who might be eligible, what sort of size and where the appropriate place to hold it might be,’ he told ABC North Coast this morning.
Jan 23, 2014- Northern Star
Azzura Development- Jonson St
22 jan, 2014
21 Jan, 2014
Jonson Street development plans to be revised
Byron Shire Council met last week with the Jonson Street shopping centre developer and his team.
As a result of the meeting, the current plans are being reworked and will be resubmitted for community and Council feedback.
Mayor Simon Richardson said the meeting today was an earnest, open and extremely fruitful discussion with the Jonson street shopping centre developer and his team.
“From the meeting today came the agreement for further discussion on design and ecological sustainability improvements.
“With the master planning of Byron Bay town centre underway this year, both the developer and council are committed to ensuring this building reflects and even leads how we want Byron to look, feel and interact with our community.
“I thank Robert Badalotti and his team for their genuine willingness to create a development that is financially viable whilst reflecting community aspirations,” Mayor Richardson said.
Mr Badalotti said after listening to community feedback, he recognised there was a desire for a softer building that impacted less on the central location.
“As part of the Byron Shire community we have a responsibility and keen willingness to get this building right and we look forward to presenting an alternative design,” he said.
Mixed reactions to $18million Byron Bay shopping plaza proposal
A two-storey indoor shopping mall could be built in Byron Bay’s Jonson Street, making it one of the largest developments in the town’s history.
A large glass atrium encloses its entrance.
Lifts and a ramp take shoppers up to a second level, filled with shops and restaurants.
An underground level facilitates 160 car parks.
This is what Gold Coast developer Global Centres Australia Pty Ltd has planned for Byron Bay’s town centre.
The $18million development encompasses the existing Woolworths car park and cinema building on Jonson Street.
David, who owns a shop across the road, says it would be a good improvement for that part of Byron.
“A tidy up on this end of town is well overdue, there’s been way too many empty shops, it’s going to bring more foot traffic and certainly tidy the parking up,” he says.
Yet some locals and travellers say it doesn’t fit in with the feel of Byron Bay.
“We came here with the expectation of seeing hippies and beaches and [a] more relaxed [environment], and it looks really like city life,” German traveller Pia says.
“It does look incredibly ugly,” John from Suffolk Park says.
The developer was not available for an interview at the time this story was published.
Byron Mayor Simon Richardson says while he believes a redevelopment is needed, he’s not impressed with the proposed design.
He says council hopes to negotiate with developers and go back to the drawing board.
“Clearly we need a shopping centre upgrade in that area but we need one which is more sympathetic and reflective of Byron,” he says.
“I think if they’d gone down the road of natural timbers and sustainable design… that might have added to our street, whereas right now this development’s going to absolutely compete with everything in the street else in the street because it’s so dominating in its scale and visual appearance.”
Under the Development Control Plan, the character of a development can be grounds for council refusal; such as whether is in the public interest and whether it fits in with the existing streetscape.
Shop owners and locals have expressed some concern about fast food chains and liquor outlets opening in the centre.
Mayor Richardson says it is not clear what stores would open in the plaza.
If the council approves the change of use for the site, which would allow the shopping centre to go ahead, it would not have a say in the shops that open.
“I guess that will all come out when, or if, it develops further and there’s only so much council can do about that.
“The devil’s in the detail, so to speak.”
“As far as council’s ability to reject a shop simply because of the produce it sells, particularly New South Wales where we’ve got very little State Government support of local government, that is very hard to do really.”
The DA is open for public submissions until January 17.