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Got an opinion on E zones? We’re taking submissions until 8 December and want to talk to you

In the last four weeks Byron Shire Council staff have spoken to more than 250 people about the new Environmental (E) zone review process that is currently underway. 

Shannon Burt, Byron Shire Council’s Director Sustainable Environment and Economy said at least 100 residents have had face-to-face meetings with staff.

“It’s great to see so many people interested in the E zone review because it is important for all Byron Shire land owners to understand how the E zones work and how they apply to their properties,” Ms Burt said.

‘Council’s professional planning staff can help landholders with questions or concerns  about the E zone process, which is important to minimise any misunderstandings," she said.

 “The E zones are a guide to how certain land can be managed and they also determine what areas should be protected for environmental reasons,” she said.

“Generally the E zones have been well received by landowners, especially when they realise the zones do not stop existing lawful uses of their land, and they do not have to do any extra work to manage areas of important vegetation,” Ms Burt said.

“There are some people who have done a lot of work revegetating their properties and it’s important for them to know that no new E zones will apply unless the landowner agrees,” Ms Burt said.

“Staff who have been meeting with land-owners are saying some people are even requesting that Council increase the area of proposed E zones on their properties.

“Our priority is to work with land owners to get an agreed outcome wherever possible.

“The majority of our meetings and phone calls with landowners have been really constructive and staff are looking forward to talking to many more people before the 8 December.

“This is a preliminary assessment only and staff are looking for feedback from landowners, and members of the public, so I encourage people to look at the new maps on Council’s website and submit their thoughts and comments,” Ms Burt said.

To help people better understand the E Zone review process a Q&A video is available on the E Zone page on Councils website (http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/environmental-zones-e-zones), as well as maps showing possible E zone areas and vegetation types.

The key E zone facts are:

  • An E zone does not impose any obligation on landowners to fence off important vegetation, undertake weed removal or actively plant more native vegetation.
  • An E zone does not prevent lawful uses from continuing, including agricultural activities and other approved developments.
  • Land that has been voluntarily revegetated by the current landowner, without public funding, will not have an E2 or E3 zone applied without agreement.
  • Where environmental mapping occurs on land in an existing residential zone, these areas will most likely retain a residential zoning.
  • The closing date for submissions is 8 December 2017.

After submissions close on 8 December staff will collate all the information received and prepare a report for the Council.

For more information contact Byron Shire Council’s Economic and Planning division on 6626 7126 or click here.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.