This is a housekeeping amendment that is currently before council and is animating a lot of people I know so it needs its own article. BSC has decided that it will not proceed with allowing MOs (Multiple Occupancies) and CTs (Community Titles) the right to build a secondary dwelling. This has been allowed within most other rural properties and has been very popular. Not allowing this option for these titles is a missed opportunity for council to assist with alleviating two major issues: the housing crisis and illegal dwellings.
Make a Submission
For those who understand the issue and want to help, please make a submission to this council website before April 16. Below is copied a submission that you can use or adapt. For those who wish to deep dive further into this issue, go to the website of the Northern Rivers Intentional Communities. They have also laid out the argument quite well.
General Manager, Byron Shire Council,
Submission to Planning Proposal 26.2020.6.1
Objection to Item 1 – Controlling secondary dwellings and dual occupancies on multiple occupancy and rural community title developments
Our submission objects to item 1 of the ‘Housekeeping’ Planning Proposal which seeks to unilaterally prohibit secondary dwellings and dual occupancies on Rural Land Sharing Communities (MOs) and rural Communities Titles.
We request Council discontinue this part of the planning proposal for the following reasons:
– the proposed unilateral prohibition is ill-conceived and ill-considered as demonstrated below
– the explanation and reasoning put forward in the planning proposal is often wrong, misleading and reflects a misunderstanding of the history of the subject and the contemporary challenges facing the shire
– we find it perverse that Council has declared a housing emergency and is actively seeking housing solutions, and the same time unilaterally trying to close down a housing option that has a track record of supplying more affordable housing in a sustainable manner over the decades
– in the instance of this matter, Council has ignored it protocols and policies in relation to consulting with stakeholders by not consulting with intentional communities
– the planning proposal report states in Section C (Page 36) of the Planning Proposal that Council considers:
o ‘There are negligible social and economic impacts as a result of the minor amendments and corrections outlined in this planning proposal.’
This contention of negligible social impacts demonstrates our view that the proposal is ill-considered and has a limited understanding of the issues at hand. It is suggested that in a time of the Council’s declared housing emergency, the proposal to thwart the potential for housing has significant social impacts. It also has a range of social and local economic impacts which the planning proposal does not bother to address.
– the planning proposal is misguided in much of its ‘explanation’ of the issue. It states that permitting additional dwellings in the form of secondary dwellings and dual occupancies is a risky concept that could result in many dwellings and such unplanned growth is not permitted and undesirable.
This contention is absurd. The number of multiple occupancy and community title sites in the shire is a small proportion of overall rural sites. Presently the vast majority of other sites in the shire are able to apply for secondary dwellings and dual occupancies. This growth is ad hoc and not planned for in any strategy and has not resulted in the grave outcomes predicted.
It is clear that permitting intentional community sites the ability to apply for a secondary dwelling and dual occupancy on merit, will not result in the anticipated calamity espoused in the planning proposal.
– much of the ‘reasoning’ within the planning proposal for prohibiting secondary dwellings and dual occupancies on intentional communities attempts to create a case for the proposal by referring to past consents. Again this is an argument without substance and is incorrect.
Council clearly has the ability, especially via a planning proposal to introduce clear contemporary provisions that allow for secondary dwellings and dual occupancies on merit. As with normal planning processes, the history is superseded by new provisions that reflect the new policies and goals of Council and the community.
Given the proven track record that multiple occupancy and rural community title developments have demonstrated over past decades in contributing to the housing demands of the shire, it is requested Council meet with community stakeholders to explore the further contribution these communities can make towards addressing the housing emergency.