Rural weddings and residents – Council moves to find the balance

Published on 27 June 2019

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Byron Shire Council will apply to the NSW Government for approval for a proposal to balance the needs of residents and the rural events and wedding industry.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in rural weddings and events in the Byron Shire, especially in the hinterland, and Council has received many complaints from residents concerned about issues such as noise, traffic, parking and rubbish.

Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said one of the key considerations in the development of Rural Event Sites Planning Proposal was to acknowledge the economic importance of events and weddings but to more importantly recognise the importance of protecting the amenity of local residents.

“I think that we have come up with a proposal that provides a very workable and acceptable solution to all parties,” Mayor Richardson said.

“We’ve adopted an innovative approach that provides for a rolling approval which means that basically consent will only be available for three years at a time so if venues are not managed properly they lose their right to hold weddings in the future.

“This gives the wedding industry some certainty but also ensures residents that events will continue to be managed well.

“Under the proposal anyone wanting approval to use their property as venue for rural events would need to submit a DA and they would need to do an acoustic assessment to determine background noise and the predicted impact of event noise on neighbours,” he said.

“They would also need to make sure that all guests, with the exception of the bridal party, are transported to and from the venue by bus with the local road network able to accommodate buses without having an impact on neighbours.

“Naturally, there are also strong provisions that there be no damage to the environment.

“Finding the balance between the events industry in rural areas and the people who live there is challenging and I commend our planning staff for the work they have done on this.

“I think that we have arrived at a solution, which provides some stringent, but at the same time, workable mechanisms for people who are serious about their venue business, but at the same time, being good neighbours,” Mayor Richardson said.

Council will now submit the proposal to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for approval.  If successful the proposal will then be put on public exhibition.

For more information contact Mayor Simon Richardson on 0427 076 834 or Annie Lewis, Media and Communications Coordinator, on 6626 7320.