Ocean Shores/ New Brighton

The Echo

Roundhouse auction snagged by legal threat

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson. Photo Eve Jeffery

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson not happy with legal threat by OSCA but prepared to sit down and talk. Photo Eve Jeffery

A spanner has been thrown into the works for the first auction of blocks at the controversial Roundhouse subdivision at Ocean Shores.

A threatened claim by the Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA) against Byron Shire Council at the 11th hour has delayed the auction, set down for the past weekend, for four of the 11 residential blocks on the hilltop site which has sweeping ocean views.

The community group is challenging the validity of the land classification as operational land.

A council spokesperson said a meeting was being sought with OSCA to try and resolve the issue as soon as possible as delays were costly.

The land is classified as operational land under the Byron Local Environment Plan and Council last April resolved to go ahead with the subdivision works and sell the 11 lots.

Mayor Simon Richardson said he was disappointed with OSCA’s action.

‘Naturally we want to bring these residential land blocks to the market with confidence,’ Cr Richardson said.

‘Council is taking a few weeks to confirm that the sales can proceed without any threat of legal action sitting in the background.

‘The auction date has been temporarily delayed and we will be looking to set a new auction date as soon as possible.’

Cr Richardson said if the issue did go to court, it would further delay the sale process.

‘As the proceeds from Roundhouse sales are intended to fund infrastructure works in the north of the Shire, Council and the community could be faced with the possibility of these works being substantially delayed due to legal action,’ he said.

‘This is the last thing we want to see happen. Since May 2013 our focus has been on the establishment of the Infrastructure Renewal Reserve to bring forward and achieve these priority works.

‘Similarly any reduction in the proceeds from land sales due to legal fees and/or purchasers losing confidence, will affect the bottom line,’ he said.

Council said it is seeking a meeting with OSCA to discuss the situation as soon as possible.

‘Council does not want to go to court, but if OSCA start this action we will have no choice but to incur costs to defend it,’ Mayor Richardson said.

‘We are already incurring legal fees and the cost of delaying the auction is potentially significant.

‘We call upon OSCA to act in the community’s interest and withdraw from their current threats of legal action.’

New sport fields on the way for Ocean Shores

26 February 2014

It’s ‘game on’ in the north of Byron Shire with today’s announcement of land purchased for sport fields at Shara Boulevard in Ocean Shores.

Byron Shire Council has purchased Lot 5 at the end of Shara Boulevard for $318,000 (exc gst).

Depending on the sports played, the site has potential for two playing fields, amenities and change facilities, car parking, community play spaces and park furniture.

Mayor Simon Richardson said the seven hectare site was originally considered as part of a review of potential playing field sites for the north of the Shire earlier in 2013.

“With an initial asking price on the land at $1.95 million, it was out of our reach.  But as the market changed, the block has come within Council’s budget and it’s a significant financial purchase for our residents.

“Plus the site is well positioned centrally and will service a number of local townships including Ocean Shores, Billinudgel, South Golden Beach, New Brighton and Brunswick Heads.

Currently Council is waiting on land rezoning confirmation from the state government as part of the LEP process and over the next few weeks will start consulting with community groups to lock-in design ideas.

Following the design completion, Council will lodge a development application and aim to start construction within a year on the first field, car parking, amenities block and lighting.

There is available funding of about $2 million from Section 94 developer contributions for the Ocean Shores/South Golden Beach sport fields programs.

Significant construction costs have also been saved with the site already having sewer and water connections, road infrastructure plus considerable fill material available to help with initial levelling works.

“With two street frontages the corner block has great access for transport, along with the added advantage of cycleways right to the entrance,” Mayor Richardson pointed out.

The Shara Boulevard site can be directly accessed off Brunswick Valley Way as the main access feeder road; this is linked to close by on/off ramps to the Pacific Highway which links to the north Tweed Heads/Coolangatta and to the south, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby.

To the south off Brunswick Valley Way there is an underpass (Tunnel Road) linking Billinudgel to the southwest, whilst further south this road links to Ocean Shores and Brunswick Heads.

As a result of the Shara Boulevard land purchase, Council will no longer be pursuing the other potential sport field’s site at Billinudgel.

“Council is committed to sports field in the North of Byron Shire and today was a very exciting announcement.  We will continue to talk to sporting and community groups and find ways to deliver health and social outcomes for our residents,” Mayor Richardson reaffirmed.

“Today’s announcement is testament to the commitment of the last group of councillors, a testament to the risk taking can do attitude of the current council and staff, and a testament to the passion and advocacy of the community of Ocean Shores and surrounds,” he said.

It’s all smiles for the new sport fields at Lot 5 Shara Boulevard

Roundhouse auction delayed due to threatened legal action

28 February 2014

The first land auction for the Roundhouse subdivision, Ocean Shores, has been temporarily delayed due to a threatened claim by the Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA).

Four of the eleven residential blocks would have gone to auction this weekend.

The Ocean Shores community group is challenging the validity of the land classification as operational land. The land is classified as Operational Land in the Byron Local Environment Plan and Council resolved in April 2013 to proceed with the subdivision works and sell the eleven lots.

Mayor Simon Richardson said this action by OSCA was disappointing.

“Naturally we want to bring these residential land blocks to the market with confidence. Council is taking a few weeks to confirm that the sales can proceed without any threat of legal action sitting in the background. The auction date has been temporarily delayed and we will be looking to set a new auction date as soon as possible,” he said.

Mayor Richardson noted that if the matter does go to court there would be further delays in the sale process.

“As the proceeds from Roundhouse sales are intended to fund infrastructure works in the North of the Shire, Council and the community could be faced with the possibility of these works being substantially delayed due to legal action.”

“This is the last thing we want to see happen. Since May 2013 our focus has been on the establishment of the Infrastructure Renewal Reserve to bring forward and achieve these priority works.

“Similarly any reduction in the proceeds from land sales due to legal fees and or purchasers losing confidence, will affect the bottom line,” he said.

Council will request a meeting with the Ocean Shores Community Association to discuss the situation as soon as possible.

“Council does not want to go to court, but if OSCA start this action we will have no choice but to incur costs to defend it,” Mayor Richardson said.

“We are already incurring legal fees and the opportunity cost of delaying the auction is potentially significant.”

“We call upon OSCA to act in the community interest and withdraw from their current threats of legal action”.

2 Responses to Ocean Shores/ New Brighton

  1. Jason Lasky says:

    I think there is an urgent need for a town plan – settlement strategy for Ocean Shores and the entire Shire North. It should not be delayed 12 to 18 months as has been suggested by the Mayor. It should not be delayed until after the Roundhouse asset is either, placed back on the market and eventually sold off, lot by lot, or otherwise delayed by lengthy and costly legal court action.
    The planning should start immediately, in consultation with the entire community, from the very beginning. Not after preliminary sessions, held privately in closed sessions, with specific interest groups. (I wish to participate, while I’m not an OSCA or SGB or sports club member.) A process of town planning, in consultation with all residents and businesses, is what’s needed to determine what assets should be sold or bought, what funds to be allocated, for what purposes, and in what time frame.
    There are limitations and possibilities to be explored and the community deserved the right and has a responsibility, to participate in town planning. In October 2011, Byron Shire Council Community Strategic Plan, was held in Ocean Shores to determine community priorities.
    http://oceanshorescommunity.org/category/community-strategic-plan
    A few years later, the list of priorities needs to be updated, with input from the entire community. We need a comprehensive long term plan, with priorities identified by a robust consulation with community, not just associations and clubs. We need an open exploration to determine possibilities and limitations, for the allocation of assets, funds and a schedule of works.
    There is room for movement and growth in our northern communities, with many great ideas to meet the identification of needs. We are waiting for council to be ready but as a community we need to take responsibility, for creating Town Plans, to take up the challenges to realize them. In good time, we are the people who will enjoy them. Town Plans are for the benefit of thousands of people, and for generations to come.
    regards Jason Lasky
    0408 369 001

  2. jasonlasky says:

    I think there is an urgent need for a town plan – settlement strategy for Ocean Shores and the entire Shire North. It should not be delayed 12 to 18 months as has been suggested by the Mayor. It should not be delayed until after the Roundhouse asset is either, placed back on the market and eventually sold off, lot by lot, or otherwise delayed by lengthy and costly legal court action.
    The planning should start immediately, in consultation with the entire community, from the very beginning. Not after preliminary sessions, held privately in closed sessions, with specific interest groups. (I wish to participate, while I’m not an OSCA or SGB or sports club member.) A process of town planning, in consultation with all residents and businesses, is what’s needed to determine what assets should be sold or bought, what funds to be allocated, for what purposes, and in what time frame.
    There are limitations and possibilities to be explored and the community deserved the right and has a responsibility, to participate in town planning. In October 2011, Byron Shire Council Community Strategic Plan, was held in Ocean Shores to determine community priorities.
    http://oceanshorescommunity.org/category/community-strategic-plan
    A few years later, the list of priorities needs to be updated, with input from the entire community. We need a comprehensive long term plan, with priorities identified by a robust consulation with community, not just associations and clubs. We need an open exploration to determine possibilities and limitations, for the allocation of assets, funds and a schedule of works.
    There is room for movement and growth in our northern communities, with many great ideas to meet the identification of needs. We are waiting for council to be ready but as a community we need to take responsibility, for creating Town Plans, to take up the challenges to realize them. In good time, we are the people who will enjoy them. Town Plans are for the benefit of thousands of people, and for generations to come.
    regards Jason Lasky
    0408 369 001

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