Byron Greens’ Plan to Tackle our Housing Crisis

Byron Greens

November 24, 2021

The Byron Greens are ready to act on Byron’s housing crisis! We know that housing stress is shocking in Byron Shire with vast sections of our community being made homeless.

As Greens we will protect the environment and neighbourhoods and find ways to look after the needs of our community. We also acknowledge that satisfying demand with conventional development can often lead to unacceptable environmental impacts and would end up making Byron more like the Gold Coast. We take the housing crisis seriously and are determined to address it in ecologically sustainable and practical ways, while also exposing root causes like the growing gap between haves and have nots.

Byron Greens will:

  • Support the new residential investigation areas identified in the Byron Residential Strategy and will ensure they are properly investigated and rezoned, if they meet the triple bottom line.
  • Continue Council’s initiative to establish a Community Land Trust in Byron Shire.
  • Continue to establish an Affordable Housing Contributions Scheme.
  • Support medium density multi-dwelling housing developments within 300 metres of B2 Local Centre zones, where the residents can access essential services without the need for a vehicle and if proposals comply with our local planning rules.
  • Investigate locations for new rural villages in the west of the Shire, away from the coast and its expensive real estate.
  • We will move to amend the Byron Local Environment Plan (LEP) 2014 to allow up to three mobile tiny homes or caravans as exempt development on rural properties larger than a hectare for affordable housing use. The current rules only allow one caravan
  • Contact property owners who previously expressed interest in building manufactured home estates with a view to changing the LEP 2014 to enable such activity
  • Investigate whether R5 (Rural Living) lots capable of accommodating dual occupancies could instead be subdivided where traffic impacts and issues such as access, flooding, water management & on-site sewage management can be satisfied
  • Reduce from 40 to 10 hectares the minimum lot size for approving rural workers’ dwellings, making more homes available for our rural workers.
  • Introduce a clause to enable Temporary Worker Accommodation in rural zones (modelled on a similar clause in Kyogle Shire’s LEP) and keep it bona fide by requiring annual accounts of the turnover of workers and their work contributions
  • Continue to lobby for 90-day limits and other controls on short-term rental accommodation (known as “AirBnB”). We know that holiday letting has seriously reduced Byron Shire’s housing stock and our ability to provide housing for essential workers, let alone our most vulnerable.
  • Investigate incentives such as Floor Space Ratio (FSR) bonuses and reduced contributions on permanent group homes and hostels to facilitate more accessible housing for the aged, people with disabilities, the homeless and women escaping domestic violence
  • Create innovative new co-housing models where multiple households can more efficiently share a single dwelling.
  • Propose planning changes to allow secondary dwellings on some MOs and CTs where it is sustainably possible.
  • Allow existing MOs and CTs to reapply to expand their number of dwellings and lots permitted where sustainably possible. i.e. additional dwellings on existing MOs and CTs
  • Propose changes to the Byron Rural Land Use Strategy (BRLUS) and LEP to enable additional MOs to be approved around the Shire. The Byron Greens believe it is a perverse planning outcome that landowners can build tourist cabins for tourists but not affordable housing cabins for locals.
  • Create a definition of temporary accommodation in the Byron DCP so that farm-stay, bed & breakfast, rural tourist, eco-tourism, caravan park and camp site accommodation can be leased to one tenant for up to 24 months not the current 3-month limit.
  • Investigate the use of Council-owned land for the provision of housing for key essential workers.

Our local Greens state MP Tamara Smith will continue to be our voice for change at the NSW state level. Tamara and our other Greens MPs are actively seeking an increase in public housing in Byron Shire.

Only the Byron Greens have an extensive and detailed plan to tackle our housing crisis. A vote for Byron Greens on Council is a vote for affordable housing.


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