Clearing has started on one of West Byron’s plots of land on Ewingsdale Road, owned by Tower Holdings.
Two Development Requests (DAs) have been hard fought by the community for decades, and their approvals will see a new suburb built on ecologically significant land.
environmental concerns, traffic and lack of affordable prices housing were raised as issues throughout the process.
One DA is owned by a ‘homegrown’ consortium, which won significant concessions behind closed doors in court mediation with Council counsel.
The ongoing cleanup for the Tower Holdings DA – called the Harvest Estate project – is being led by wealthy Sydney-based developer Terry Agnew.
Immediate neighbor, Tom Vidal, alerted echo of the clearing, and says it shares a 1 km boundary with the DA of Agnew.
Vidal is also secretary of the Belongil Catchment Drainage Board, and says he has spoken on drainage and flooding issues for the DAs.
Communications went down
“I personally arranged a meeting between Terry Agnew, its CEO, and some advisers in my home, after communication between the parties broke down in November 2019.”
“Therefore, a much better result was obtained than the first proposal; unfortunately our ‘local’ buddies weren’t so understanding”.
As for the “local” AD, he said: “The court’s secret negotiations were lamentable”.
He added: “Asking residents to make submissions in court without informing us that most of the points of contention (traffic, storm water, drainage, flooding, social impacts, etc., etc.) were already conceded was quite conceded. unbelievable”.
Anthony Aiossa, CEO of Tower Holdings, confirmed that the Harvest Estate project had begun “after an extraordinarily long and detailed development and construction approval process”.
He said echo“During these approval processes, we undertook a collaborative approach with Council and community stakeholders to come up with the final Master Plan.
“This involved significantly reducing the number of lots in the plan, setting aside a 30m wide buffer zone of vegetation along Ewingsdale Road, protecting areas of sensitive environmental habitat and creating green space throughout. the master plan area.
“Before work began, Northern Rivers’ environmental group, Boyd’s Bay Group, completed a major program of environmental rehabilitation and revegetation at the site involving the planting of over 60,000 new plants.
“The start of Harvest Estate represents the first new release of land in the suburbs of Byron Bay since the development of Sunrise in the mid-1970s.
“The Harvest Estate will also provide over 50,000 square meters of new public open space in Byron Bay, over 2.8 kilometers of cycle paths, an outdoor public fitness park, a communal vegetable garden and a community centre.
“The first stage of the Harvest Estate will provide 55 new vacant lots in the Byron Bay market, which is one of the tightest housing markets in the country, leading to extremely high growth in rents and house prices during the last decade.
“The Estate will allow buyers to purchase a vacant plot of land and work with their local designers and builders to construct their brand new home, which is within walking distance of Byron Bay town center and opposite the Estate of arts and industry”.
Mr Aiossa said so far the majority of buyers have been locals and it was the ‘only master planned land release estate available in the suburbs of Byron Bay’.
“There may be some short-term inconvenience caused during the construction process, however, this will be managed by the highly experienced project team who have been engaged to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently.
“The remaining limited lots will be offered for sale later in the year and the first stage will be completed in the second half of next year.”