July Byron Bay Real Estate News: Byron winter festival season, Council’s new general manager, Mullumbimby gateway revitalisation, South Byron sewerage, more industrial estates, and Byron wedding issues.
Byron Council Biz:
New General Manager
The Byron Council GM Ken Grainger, retired early in the year due to illness. The consensus is that the new GM is a good pick. Mark Arnold has been acting General Manager since Mr Grainger left the post. It’s a difficult job, herding cats while juggling chainsaws. Mr Arnold moves in to the big chair July 2nd. He has been with Byron Council since 2008 after serving many years in Tenterfield council.
Wedding Bliss – or Blues
Regulating rural weddings has been another thorny issue council has had to deal with. People are allowed to hold weddings on their own property without a DA. But this was intended to be only for family members and friends and happen only occasionally – as these milestones in life are intended to happen.
But just like the issue of Short-Term Holiday Letting, Byron Bay, and the hinterland is suffering from a popularity problem. Some of the more flashy rural properties have been holding a few paid weddings a year, pocketing a bit of cash and seriously upsetting the neighbours.
Council has been trying to figure out how to solve the problem. Weddings will keep happening, as people want to get married in Byron Bay. The idea was to regulate it and allow pop up venues and a few quite locations. Then weddings can happen for certain periods only and not upset too many residents. It was a good idea but a committee got hold of it and made it unworkable with no music after 8 PM and off-site by 8.30. Cr Ndiaye questioned the logic: “Where will wedding patrons go after 8 pm? Will they go to other venues? Isn’t this just moving the problem?’
South Byron Sewerage Works
Council owns a choice piece of real estate and they are looking to give it a new lease of life. The old sewerage treatment works on Broken Head Road, Suffolk Park, is close to being remediated. It is council-owned land so it is the property of the community and the question is what to do with it.
The council has asked for Expressions Of Interest, sorted through the responses and are now down to a short list of four. The list includes an alternative school, a residential development company, an affordable housing consortium and a retirement village. Watch this space.
Future Industrial Estates
Also of interest in the works in Council is what to do now the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate is full. Some of you may remember the recent difficulties Council had with the failure to approve the new industrial unit development outside Bangalow. That was understandable, as that was probably not the most ideal location.
The big issue we are having is that some of our successful local brands are getting bigger and need more space. Companies like Byron Bay Cookie Company, Stone and Wood Brewery, Salumi Small Goods, Brookfarm Muesli and others, all have had trouble finding a suitable location as they expand and need more space.
Council is now looking at the lands surrounding the Pacific Highway exit at the Blues Festival site and Gulgan Road. Landowners in this location are being asked if they would like to be included in a study to see if some of this land can be rezoned commercial/industrial. This is a good option and needs to be supported. It is close to the highway and away from a lot of residential homes.
Splendour in the Grass is happening Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd. You will see a lot of millennials around doing their thang! Whenever I get a chance to chat to Splendour visitors I am always impressed by the confidence and intelligence of this generation. It bodes well for the future but there is one area of negligence they are guilty of. They must have too much pocket money as every year they leave a mountain of camping gear in their wake. Seems like it is easier to buy cheap camping gear and leave it rather than pay excess baggage. The grass is not so splendid littered with cheap Chinese tick tack lying around.
For the slightly older patron, may I suggest the Byron Writers Festival? This gets going on August 3rd– 5th. There are always lots of events, and workshops happening in the week leading up to it and it is a great way to spend a weekend.
Opposite Uncle Tom’s Pies on Gulgan Road is the Mullumbimby Gateway. This installation greets our visitors as a special place to commemorate the biggest little town in Australia. Richard Mordaunt was part of the original crew who put it together in 1988. He and his partner Diana used to run the art gallery in Mullum above the news agency.
Mordaunt says the aim of the project is to “bring the whole site back to life, repair the totems and the town sign, re-stand the standing stones with new plantings across the site. There will be interpretive boards with local history, linking it with the town. It is public safe space for youth and locals waiting for pickups and rideshares and there will be a new pathway from the bus drop off to the gazebo.” Local state MLA Ben Franklin is behind the project and is looking for funding. Other contributors can go the website for tax-deductible donations – https://mullumbimbygateway.com.