Short term holiday letting

Published on 11 February 2019

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Byron Shire Acting Mayor, Michael Lyon, has welcomed today’s invitation from the NSW Government asking Council to lead the way by developing a planning proposal aimed at reducing the impact of short term holiday letting on local residents.

NSW Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, and Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW, Ben Franklin, made the announcement in Mullumbimby.

Minister Roberts said he recognises the pressure that short term holiday letting has on the Byron Shire and that he was swayed last week when a delegation from Byron Council, including Acting Mayor, Michael Lyon, General Manager, Mark Arnold and Director Sustainable Environment and Economy, Shannon Burt, argued the case for local regulation.

“The State Government recognises that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to short term holiday letting does not work for places like the Byron Shire, where up to one in five properties is listed for holiday rental,” Acting Mayor, Michael Lyon said.

“The constant turn-over of people moving in and out of accommodation in residential areas is breaking down the fabric of our community where people don’t know their neighbours any more.

“Coupled with this is the fact that there is a huge shortage of rental accommodation because landlords can get such high returns from holiday letting and this is placing enormous pressure on individuals and families.

“Mayor Simon Richardson, and the General Manager, Mark Arnold, have been lobbying Ben Franklin ever since the Government announced last year that it was planning to introduce a cap of 180 days a year that a dwelling could be used for short term holiday letting. 

“Council argued strongly that Byron Shire, because of the large percentage of properties being rented on platforms like Airbnb, was unique and we needed something better and more tailored for our community,” Acting Mayor Lyon said.

“On behalf of the Council I am grateful that Mr Franklin, and Minister Roberts, have listened and taken on board our concerns,” he said.

The NSW Government has asked Byron Shire Council to prepare a planning proposal based on local conditions, including varying thresholds for short term holiday letting, for example 90 days, rather than 180 days and the introduction of precincts.

Council staff will start work on this shortly and will be seeking feedback and input from the community as part of the development of the new planning proposal. 

Council will continue to seek a meeting with the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean, to discuss a locally-run registration scheme for properties in the Byron Shire that are being used for short term holiday letting.

For more information contact Annie Lewis, Media and Communications Coordinator, on 6626 7320.  For interviews call Cr Michael Lyon, Acting Mayor, on 0435 646 365.